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Opening Reception for THE MYSTIQUE OF THE KENÉ ART: An Exhibit by Olinda Silvano & Ronin Koshi at Galactic Panther

February 2 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Galactic Panther Art Gallery is excited to announce an Opening Reception for THE MYSTIQUE OF THE KENÉ ART: An Exhibit by Olinda Silvano & Ronin Koshi. The public is welcome to get a free ‘sneak peek’ of the exhibit as it is being finalized on February 1st from 7:00 to 10:00 pm. This sneak peek will feature music by Jah Messenger Sound & will be catered.

The Opening Reception will take place Friday, February 2nd from 8:00-11:00 and feature music by La Vaina Fantasma, Ancestor Piratas, DJ Mezkla, & Camilo Y Los Locos. Additional inspiration will come from Tree Sap Psychedelic Visuals. KnS Kitchen will cater, & there will be a tattoo raffle. Friday’s event is $15. Tickets are available on Eventbrite or at the door. All artwork including textiles & jewelry will be for sale.



Kené is an ancient art representing nature and the living culture of the Shipibo-Konibo people of the Amazon basin. “Kené means ‘designs’ and is the name for the geometric patterns that identify my ethnicity,” explains artist Olinda Silvano Inuma de Arias. “Kené…also summarizes the worldview, knowledge, and aesthetics of an entire people, their tradition and roots in time. It is a source of information about our origins and the close links between our community and our lands.”

Kené are inspired by the ingestion of plants such as Ayahuasca and Piri Piri, which Amazonian tribes have used for centuries for spiritual purposes. “They guide us to tell us how we should represent the images we see,” says Olinda. Her textile products are made with 100% cotton fabric that she dyes with natural plant pigments including caoba bark, mango peel, guayaba bark, avocado beans, and almonds–all of which she gathers in the forest. Once the dye is set Olinda uses “magic mud” collected from a river for the black color in her designs, which are drawn freehand. “Finally, if I want to add embroidery, I buy the thread in stores to do it.” Jewelry is made with beads and seeds from Silvano’s home city of Pucallpa. “I create these pieces myself along with my mother, sisters, and three daughters….each of us has her own designs.” Olinda’s son Ronin Koshi also creates works which will be on view.

“My mission is to make visible the role of the migrant Indigenous woman and to move forward regardless of the unforeseen event…I have never given up and I am the symbol of struggle and living culture of Shipibo-Konibo. My sisters in my community and I work at home doing this because it has become a source of independence.” Olinda’s work has been displayed at the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, Canada, and ARCOMadrid 2019, in Madrid, Spain.

Olinda Silvano Inuma grew up in the Native Community of Paohyan on the banks of the Ucayali River. She belongs to the Shipibo-Konibo people, one of the most numerous indigenous peoples of the Peruvian Amazon. She was born at seven months, frail and small. Her grandfather then breathed medicinal plants into her body to strengthen her and placed an invisible crown of kene designs on her head, to endow her with the gift of vision. The plants and medicinal visions not only fortified her health but her will. This visionary ability has accompanied her throughout her life and guided her defense of the Amazon with the power of the luminous designs she received from her ancestors.  As a child she lived in intimate familiarity with forest and rivers and learned how to paint and embroider beautiful fabrics covered with kene designs; but she could not complete her schooling because her parents had no money. So, at the age of 15, she traveled to the city of Pucallpa to look for work. With the first payment she earned, she bought a yellow shirt she had promised to take to her father as proof of her determination to succeed in the city.  She soon formed her own family and migrated to Lima, the capital, looking for better education conditions for her children.

In Lima, she built a precarious house in a dump on the banks of the polluted Rimac River, founding with other Shipibo-Konibo families the urban community of Cantagallo.  For many years, she would go out into the streets of the city to offer her kene embroidery to the passers-by, walking the entire day to bring home a small sustenance. At last, in 2014 she was able to show her works in an art gallery. Today, at the age of 52, Olinda has achieved national and international recognition for her colorful embroidery, paintings, and murals of extraordinary beauty and light.  Her art targets an urban audience but brings into the city the power given her by the plants that she herself received as a child.

Kené lines are not mere abstract geometric graphics; they are the materialization of the koshi force of plants and their ibo, the spiritual owners of the forest, which visionary women, like Olinda, see in their minds and show in their works. The meshes of kené give rise to perceptions in synesthesia, where hearing, smell, and touch join in the vision of designs, generating associations between the landscape of the forest and the embroidered and painted paths of designs. For Olinda, her work as a contemporary Shipibo-Konibo artist is a powerful form of activism that uses another language, the language of plants, to fight against discrimination and to defend the Amazon and its peoples from within the hard core of city life.

Also on view:

‘WONDER WOMEN: an International Exhibition of Artwork by Women’

Click link for images:


Additional upcoming events at Galactic Panther include:

-Comedy bi-weekly

-Live Music weekly

-Poetry & DJ Events every other Thurs.

-Improv 2nd Saturdays

-Tea & Coffee Tasting Workshops

-Open Mic every Sunday

-Reiki Healing Events

Galactic Panther is open Friday 12-6, Saturday-Sunday 12-7 and by appointment (Felipe@galacticpanther.com). Please follow Galactic Panther on Facebook, Instagram, Eventbrite, & our website for further updates & information.

From day one a portion of all sales from Galactic Panther has supported non-profits who offer food security for those in need.

Galactic Panther is located at:



February 2
8:00 pm - 11:00 pm


Galactic Panther
1303 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314 United States
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