Current exhibition

Current exhibition

Orixás: The African Diaspora and its Relationship with Nature’s Elements 

By Tony Paraná and Ibraim Nascimento
presented by Mobile Art Space for the Artists (MASA)
The exhibition will be part of the Latino Arts Now (LAN) 2019

Opening reception: Saturday February 2nd, 3-8 pm
The exhibition will be held from February 2nd through March 23rd, 2019
MASA - 3705 Lyons Ave Houston, Texas 77020

In Brazil, developed into the spiritual practice of Candomblé, orixás or deities, are recognized as divine forces of nature. In the city of Salvador, Bahia, the orixás have become religious and cultural symbols of the city’s rich African presence.
These symbols can be found in both traditional and contemporary cultural life. For both, the devotee who has undergone a strict initiation process as well as for the non-initiated who looks to this tradition for spiritual inspiration and connection to the spiritual world.  

According to the Yoruba tradition, after the world was created, each orixá received divine energy called axé, which gave the orixás the ability to rule over certain areas of the material world. Each orixá also represents a certain aspect of nature both inside and outside of the religious context. For example: Oxalá corresponds to the air that we breathe and Oyá/Iansã to the winds; Iemanjá is found in the oceans and on beaches; Oxum can be found in the rivers and waterfalls; to contact Oxóssi, the hunter; Ogum, the warrior; and Ossaim, who rules the sacred leaves, the clue is in the forests and to get close to Xangô, the god of thunder and lightning, one goes to a stone quarry as it is very dangerous to be close to a lightning rod.

Together, the artists Tony Paraná and Ibraim Nascimento, will explore the world of the Orixás from each of their own unique individual perspectives and experiences as artistas Baianos (Bahian artists) and members of the African Diaspora.


Ibraim in Santos, commemorating All Saints Day.

Free and open to the public
OCTOBER 26 – NOVEMBER 18, 2018
Opening Reception: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26, 6–9 pm

St. Paul’s United Methodist Church (5501 Main Street | Houston TX 77004)
1st floor gallery of Sanctuary Building

Ibraim Nascimento Santos is a Brazilian artist who was born in the Recôncavo of Bahia, a place where time passes slowly, where religion and popular art are central to everyday life. There, the celebration of saints doesn’t happen only in the church—it is a festival for all the people. Simple life, simple people, simple houses with images of saints hanging on the walls, on posters, statues, candles, with the voices of elders singing praise in the streets.

Walk through this exhibition of vibrant colors, radiating halos, and brush strokes intertwining images of faith with cultural tradition. These works sing a song of praise for one’s land, one’s place, and reveal an intimate part of one’s people from a time when listening to the stories of our elders, watching them celebrate in worship, was what made us who we are—made us feel whole. Certainly, having the word ‘Santos’ (saints) as a last name is a powerful thing. 

These works sing a song of praise for one’s land, one’s place, and reveal an intimate part of one’s people...
— Ibraim Nascimento Santos