Friday, April 11, 2008

Crossing Borders/Cruzando Fronteras

The United States is a mosaic of people and cultures; there is no other country in the world with more diversity. Almost all of us have a recent or distant ancestor who has crossed a border to get where they are today. Historically, waves of immigrants from various parts of the world have populated and enriched our shores. We have embraced our diverse history and our thriving culture based on the patchwork of immigration; yet, there have also been anti-immigration sentiments. Today the civic discourse between those who see immigration as a source of strength for our country and those who see it as dangerous to our way of life focuses mainly on people entering the States from Latin America. Unfortunately, this national dialogue has become dichotomized into ‘us versus them,’ ‘liberals versus conservatives,’ and ‘Democrats versus Republicans.’ The nuances of this intricate concept get lost in impassioned debates, and the topic is only addressed in starkly contrasting blacks and whites.

The exhibit Crossing Borders/Cruzando Fronteras is presented in the belief that painters, photographers, sculptors, puppeteers, guitar makers, lace makers, and architects can promote civic discourse that included shades of gray (and a rainbow of colors.) This exhibit includes a diverse group artists working in a variety of medias. Some of the images and objects created by these artists reflect directly on the experience of leaving ones home, crossing a border, and settling in a new place. Others engage more broadly with questions and dilemmas posed by immigration.

Hera Gallery is pleased to be showcasing the work of Diane Barcelo, Claudia Flynn, Valerie Mendoza, Abel A. Ortiz, Alexandra Copley, Faith Hagenhofer, Barbara Milot, Agustin Patino, Isis Falk Donnelly, Linda LaBella, Victoria Lockard Morton, Prince V. Thomas, Ana Flores, Christine LoFaso Blake Novotny, and Troy West.

Concurrent events will include music, films, and a panel discussion. Please visit the Hera Gallery website for further details.

This exhibit is part of a larger collaborative project developed jointly by the Pawtucket Arts Collaborative and Hera Gallery with support from many individuals and community organizations. The goal of the project is to promote civic engagement and dialog on the theme of immigration. A joint exhibit, Crossing Borders: Redefining the Dream will be exhibited at the Pawtucket Arts Collaborative Gallery located at the Blackstone Valley Visitor Center 175 Main Street, Pawtucket, RI 02860 May 11 through June 21, 2008. For more information regarding this show please visit the Pawtucket Arts Collaborative website,

Top to Bottom:  Prince V. Thomas, Assimilations; Alexandra Copley, Norma With Bad Apple; Agustin Patino, Immigrants With Five Senses

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