WASHINGTON - JUNE 16: Tourists and visitors walk past the shuttered Smithsonian Institution Arts and Industries Building on the National Mall June 16, 2006 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
The African bead art of ndwango from a South African all-women artists' community is being showcased at the Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum.
"Ubuhle Women: Beadwork and the Art of Independence'' is one of two new exhibits open at the museum through September.
The bead art exhibit includes 31 pieces from Ubuhle women, which means beauty. The museums says the artists have transformed traditional beading techniques to a contemporary medium by using tiny colorful glass beads, hand sewn in patterns on black cloth canvasses.
The pieces reflect themes drawn from the artists' lives, including cattle, gardens, the death of loved ones, and a massive African "Crucifixion.'' It is composed of seven panels commissioned for the Cathedral of the Holy Nativity, an Anglican cathedral in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.