Wilshire Baptist Church will host a two-week Advent art exhibit beginning Sunday, featuring art from the San Blas Islands off Panama. Displayed will be 40 molas — colorful panels of reversed embroidery applied to blouses worn by the women of the Cuna tribe.

“These molas are incredibly colorful and tell the Biblical story in a creative way,” associate pastor Mark Wingfield told me. “They will be appealing to adults and children alike. There is so much detail in each panel that it takes some study to catch all the symbolism.”

Molas are derived from the older cultural practice of body painting. After Spanish colonization and contact with missionaries, the Cuna started to transfer their traditional geometric designs to fabric, first by painting directly on the fabric and later by using the technique of reverse application.

The touring exhibit, “Molas: From Eden to Eternity,” is made available through Christians in the Visual Arts, and will be in Room 2365 at the church. The art will be on display from 8 a.m.-8 p.m every day but Thursdays, when it will close at 5 p.m., Saturdays, when it will close at noon, and on Christmas Day, when it will be closed.


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