Artist Margaret Blake and her exhibit, “Out of Africa: People, Places and Patterns,” looks to inspire visitors with glimpses into daily life in Africa.

Blake’s work will be on display in the Jacob Spori Art Gallery on the campus of BYU-Idaho from Oct. 25, 2019 through Nov. 21, 2019. It’s getting kicked off with a reception for the artist tonight from 7 to 9 in the Spori Building.

Blake said she’s always been interested in Africa and was able to learn more about people and places there after being called to serve a pair of missions with her husband for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in South Africa and the surrounding countries.

The paintings are done mostly in watercolor and are all based on real people the artist encountered in Africa. She said she most often photographed people she saw and then later worked that photo onto a canvas.

“We usually didn’t have time for me to just sit and paint so I had to take a lot of photos,” she said. “All the people were the real people, but they were from different countries. So, they have different looks. Each country has a different look.”

Blake said part of what she fell in love with in Africa was the bright colors and vibrant patterns in the clothing. She used that color extensively throughout her collection.

The animals of Africa were also of inspiration to Blake. Zebras, gorillas, elephants and more influenced her work, she said.

Common throughout the collection are depictions of women as they carry loads on their heads and babies on their backs. The artist said it was the women of Africa that most especially inspired her.

Blake said she hopes those who attend the exhibit are able “to get a sense of Africa and the people and the animals and what a phenomenal place that it is.”