ROAM: A Xtina Parks Gallery on the campus of Mass MoCA in the Berkshires is home to our art and photography galleries. Under our roof also lives Xtina Studios and Xtina Photography, two supporting legs of ROAM. Our three synergistic branches all focus energy towards sharing the story of Africa’s land, her peoples, and her wildlife – and how we can get involved. We are driven to share the adventure of conservation for humanitarian efforts and for the natural world.
ROAM: A Xtina Parks Gallery, Xtina Studios, and Xtina Photography focuses on making
conservation efforts accessible to the wider world. By promoting Africa’s rich heritage of
artwork that speaks to deeper meanings and understandings of the natural world our Galleries hope to impart new ways of seeing things. ROAM Galleries showcases African contemporary and traditional artwork in an accessible way: through stories, visual arts, photography, film and traditional artwork while actively seeking artists who honor sustainable practices. ROAM Galleries goal is to share the stories of the people, the land and sky, and the voices of the animals by weaving together the enter-twined relationship that must exist between them for any true conservation to be successful.
Through on the ground conservation efforts to help save habitats from manmade destruction Xtina Studios is actively involved in nature conservation to help protect critically endangered species by documenting our work with film. These productions aim to introduce and inspire a new generation of minds and hearts into the field of conservation. The Xtina Studio’s team of filmmakers and researchers are filled with spirit of adventure. Our goal is to inspire hope and positive change – and to speak on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves… the incredible last vestiges of free wildlife alive today.
OUR WORK ETHIC
The TEAM of people who make up ROAM are committed to a larger story than just the bottom line. We honor each other’s diversities and handicaps. We respect our differences and share our common visions together. We enjoy learning and growing and support those of us who want more, who want to experience the greater world, and who are here for a long time or just for a short while. We support further education of our staff and always have time and will do what it takes to help each other move forward with greater ideas, growing minds, and engaging higher ideals. We open our hearts to those who look different, who hail from other lands, and who have fallen and now want to get up. We are the ones who will give you time and care and who will listen. Our stories are your stories. Our defeats are felt across the oceans and on other continents. And our successes we share with those we represent through art, film, photography and music. We are one and we are on a grand adventure. And we cannot wait to turn the page to share a new chapter with our teammates and with new friends joining our mission.
Ashanti Design - South Africa
Driven by a deep passion for Africa, its people, and its ways, Ashanti Design is a contemporary celebration and iteration of traditional craft. It's no quick process to create this custom fabric. It's an intricate labor of love that weaves together tradition, pride, and the artistry of the remote villagers who make this happen!
Ashanti's signature fabric is hand-woven from t-shirt offcuts (extra material that would have been sent to a landfill). The offcuts are cut into thin strips, tied into yard, and woven on hardwood looms to create a new piece of fabric, which is then used to create Ashanti bags, beanbag chairs, and other products.
Because every inch of Ashanti fabric is made from up-cycled materials and woven into existence by hand, each item is unique. We hope that this colorful, functional piece of art finds its perfect place with you!
Baba Tree Baskets - Bolgatanga, Ghana
Every day, dozens of weavers arrive at the Baba Tree Baskets facility in Bolgatanga, Ghana. Here, they not only weave baskets, but conduct business and discuss village issues. These weavers are men, women, children, and students, many of whom have been working for Baba Tree for many years. These weavers are artisans, and Baba Tree knows they must be compensated fully for their artistry. Each weaver is paid for the work they produce as well as being paid a commission of 5-20% of the retail price of the basket.
Each hand-dyed and handwoven fan or basket from Baba Tree was made with love and has traveled across the ocean to make it to you. We hope this functional and beautiful piece of art adds color and fun to your home.
Baskets of Africa
Baskets of Africa was founded in 2002 to celebrate and support the art of African Basket Weaving. Owner Cael Chappell has been dedicated to preserving Fair Trade principles over his time in Africa. A majority of the women who supply these amazing pieces are mothers who are using their admired traditions to help support and build a better life for their families.
Ceramix - South Africa
Ceramix South Africa is a wonderful, family-owned company dedicated to creating lovely handmade ceramic art. Each piece is fun, funky, and they explore unconventional designs by utilizing animal motifs. Every work of art is handmade with love.
Clementina Van Der Walt - South Africa
Clementina Van Der Walt is one of South Africa's leading female ceramicists, and has spent the past four decades lecturing, holding exhibitions, and honing her craft. Presently she runs Clementina Ceramics, a studio that specializes in her work, along with other South African ceramicists.
Clementina produces functional and decorative pieces that explore symbolism, form, and a ritualistic understanding of ordinary activities like eating and drinking. She is heavily inspired by the cultural and physical landscapes she is surrounded by.
Although colors and motifs may be repeated in her work, each piece is completely unique, and no two are alike. We hope her work inspires you in your own home. Enjoy your one-of-a-kind piece by Clementina Van Der Walt, from all of us at ROAM: a Xtina Parks Gallery.
Design Afrika - South Africa
Design Afrika was started by owner Binky Newman after she fell in love with the art of African basket weaving. Binky has traveled to seek out the finest weavers to provide the best quality baskets to lovers alike. By following ethical business practices, Design Afrika ensures that the creative spirit of the weavers is cherished and respected.
Gillian Fuller - South Africa
Gillian Fuller is a renowned and talented artist from South Africa. She employs local women to help bring her designs to life using traditional beading techniques with a modern twist. Her designs are both contemporary yet inspired by customary African patterns.
Global Mamas - Ghana
Founded in 2003, the Global Mamas community is made up of people all over the world, working together with the mission of creating prosperity for Ghanian women and their families.
The Mamas are mothers, wives, sisters entrepreneurs, and community leaders to over 7 different communities in Ghana. In addition to fair pay, free healthcare, and being able to send their children to school, the Mamas receive on-the-job training in fields like finance, business management, health, and technology.
Global Mamas produicts are hand-crafted with love using traditional methods, maintaining local artisanal skills like bead making, batiking, and shea butter production. Thank you for helping us support these amazing women! We hope your new Global Mamas product brings joy and color to your life.
Julia Atlas - South Africa
Artist Julia Atlas draws inspiration from her roots in African and Turkish culture. By presenting her “Study of Peace” line of work, she explores how African culture allows for self-expression via beadwork and the use of jewelry. Each bead used by the artist has been hand-chosen for its rich travels over centuries across the continent. Buddhists say beads are a visual expression of life, and the string that holds them together is our truth. These pieces are a piece of our own collective experience for you to take home.
Lemmi & Sipho - South Africa
Lemmi & Sipho is a woman-owned business that aims to combine high fashion styling with traditional natural components. The resulting bags are both highly functional and equally as beautiful! All items are handmade with love using ethically sourced hides and leather. Lemmi & Sipho bags are produced in a factory that provides skills training and employment for disadvantaged communities
in the area.
Linda Camm Designs - Kenya
The Maasai people in Kenya are a pastoral tribe who have worked with leather and beads for centuries. The intricate, delicate, traditional, and balanced beadwork designs of the Maasai people sparked Linda Camm's imagination, and she began to work with the Maasai people to create products with global appeal.
In Maasai culture, beadwork is the responsibility of the women, so Linda started small—working with a group of women in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. As the quality of the work increased, Linda moved to Nairobi to hand-cast the buckles on their products from recycled brass.
Each part of each item is handmade and influenced by Maasai beadwork traditions. We hope this wearable art becomes the perfect addition to your wardrobe!
Michael Methven - South Africa
Trophy hunting—the shooting of selected animals, usually big game like elephants, antelope, or lions—poses a big threat to the endangered and threatened species on the African continent. By creating these trophy heads by hand out of paper mâché, Michael Methven creates a way to appreciate wildlife without harming the individual creature.
Michael Methven and his wife Anthea have innovated the Pan-African market by encouraging cultural tolerance, collaborating with township crafters, and launching Moonlight and Magic, a design initiative that endeavors to incorporate cutting-edge traditional African craft with world design.
We hope you enjoy your new decor, handcrafted for you in South Africa, and hope it brings light into your home!
Monkeybiz - South Africa
Monkeybiz South Africa is a Fair-Trade company focused on uplifting women through traditional African beadwork and creativity. These pieces are both stunningly colorful and beautifully crafted, and have been shown all over the world as lovely folk art. Each piece is handmade with love in South Africa by a group of talented artists who are empowered in their community by their employment opportunity. All artists are given freedom to create as they please, which
means each animal is unique.
Moroccan Birds - Morocco
Moroccan Birds is a company focused on helping keep traditional Moroccan jewelry craftsmanship alive. By designing a line that is not only chic, yet also ethically sound, the company has created a vision for ethical accessories. Local Moroccan artisans are employed to craft these beautiful pieces, using skills that have been passed down for generations.
MORS Design - South Africa
MORS Design is an up-cycle initiative that creates a sustainable business by collecting non-toxic waste and creating beautiful, durable, and practical products made from cleaned and recycled tire tubes—they're the perfect example of "one person's trash is another person's treasure!" Mors actually means "waste" in Afrikaans!
MORS products are 100% handmade, and are handwoven by previously-disadvantaged women and refugees, affording them the opportunity of decent employment, and allowing them to become self-sufficient.
MORS believes that by helping keep material out of landfills we can contribute to helping save the environment, all while creating a sustainable fashion brand. We hope that with this purchase, you realize the positive impact you're having on the environment and the individuals who create these amazing products.
Namji Fertility Dolls - Cameroon
Namji Dolls are native to the Namji tribe in Northern Cameroon and have great cultural significance. The dolls are carved from a single piece of wood, and are decorated with coins, beads, cowrie shells, leather, and fibers. Namji dolls are fertility dolls and are given to a bride on her wedding day.
Brides carry the dolls around as a symbol of good luck to increase the bride's fertility and chances of a safe delivery. They are also meant to ward off evil spirits, miscarriage, and infertility. Once a woman has a child, she places the doll on the family altar or passes it down to her daughters. Namji dolls can also be used in marriage proposals or given to young girls to play with.
Each Namji doll in the world is unique and is an original piece of African art. We at ROAM: a Xtina Parks Gallery hope your new Namji doll finds a lasting place in your home.
Nobunto - South Africa
Meaning “for the people” in Sotho, Nobunto celebrates the individuality and lovely craftsmanship of South Africans. Each beautiful item is handmade with love in Napier, near Cape Town. Nobunto employs women of the local community to help provide them with earnings to gain independence and support their lives by guaranteeing a fair income for all. Nobunto’s products adhere to Fair Trade guidelines, focusing on sustainability, transparency, and respect.
Potter's Workshop - South Africa
The Potter's Workshop has grown over the last twenty years from Shop to Studio to bustling Workshop. They are a creative team of twenty three people from varied backgrounds, and in this space they come together they produce unique works of African-designed ceramics.
Against tradition, it is the men at the Workshop that do the painting onto the raw slipcast pieces and the women doing the supportive work. It can take up to two years to train the artists to become proficient in the intricate designs that are executed.
Over years they have created their own particular style that is rooted in African tradition. Thank you for purchasing a unique piece of South African art. We hope you enjoy, and create your own traditions around the table with loved ones.
Senzokuhle Baskets - South Africa
In the late 1990's, unemployment in the northern part of Kwazulu Natal, South Africa, was at almost 80%, and the founders of Senzokuhle Wire Co. wanted to help the Zulu people rediscover their hope and pride through working with their hands. By focusing on the traditional Zulu skill of basket weaving, and training the younger generation around them, Senzokuhle has been able to provide economic growth to the area, as well as provide employment for many rural women and men.
The name Senzokuhle was suggested by the weavers themselves, and reflects the pride they have in their work. Roughly translated, it means "well made."
Senzokuhle's mission is to create jobs for underprivileged rural people, and give their crafters a chance to change their own lives. We hope you enjoy this handcrafted work of art, and thank you for helping us support these hard-working artisans!
Tania Babb - South Africa
Tania Babb is a ceramic artist in South Africa. Her work stems from a fascination with people and their relationships with themselves, each other, and moments in their life. She tries to capture fleeting moments in clay, the way an author would capture and record a piece of dialogue.
Tania works with porcelain clay because she is able to best create the look of human skin, with all the vulnerabilities that being human implies. Regardless of where in the world you find yourself, we are all human, and she works hard to remember that when forming her pieces.
Each piece is handmade, and no molds are used to form the figures. Because of this, each Tania Babb piece is an original work of art, unique from each other piece. We hope this piece of art finds a special place in your home!
Wild Artefacts - Botswana
Wild Artefacts is based out of Maun, Botswana. It is run by a woman named Sandi Albertson who supports artistic initiatives to keep traditional African arts alive – including basket weaving and beadwork. Wild Artefacts falls under the Kalahari Land Trust which ensures resilient natural ecosystems; sustainable resource use and a sense of resource ownership; sustainable monetary income; access to clean water; adequate dietary intake; cultural identity; education and so on.
Wola Nani - South Africa
Wola Nani, Xhosa for "we embrace and develop each other" was formed to help
people living with HIV/AIDS access the services which they need, and to create opportunities for them to help themselves. Wola Nani facilitates job creation programs for individuals and families affected by the virus and offers community support services such as counseling and child care.