An exhibition spotlighting the utility and artistry of Third World crafts will be on display from Thursday, Jan. 13, 2005, through Sunday, Jan. 23, 2005, in the Hartnett Gallery in Wilson Commons on the University of Rochester’s River Campus.

Sponsored by Rochester Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCV), the exhibition will feature approximately 100 items of clothing, textiles, and household and decorative items that volunteers collected during their service, such as a poncho from Bolivia, a blanket from Sierra Leone, and a prayer board from Somalia. Each piece will be accompanied by information on its country of origin, use, and method of production.

“Many of the pieces in the show are utilitarian, yet we find that there is artistic expression in their design,” noted Marian Haley Beil, president of Rochester RPCV and exhibition curator. “Through their beauty, these pieces show that an appreciation of the arts is universal.” The exhibit also gives Peace Corps volunteers the opportunity to share the cultures in which they’ve lived, she added.

An opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 17, will feature a panel of volunteers who will discuss their service and experiences and answer questions.

The exhibit and opening reception are free and open to the public. Groups are welcome by appointment; contact The Hartnett Gallery is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 6 p.m. on weekends. For more information, contact the Hartnett Gallery at (585) 275-4188 during gallery hours.