Feature Articles

March 2011

UNC Asheville in Asheville, NC, Offers Exhibition Telling Immigrant Stories

UNC Asheville in Asheville, NC, will present, Our Voices, Our Stories, Nuestras Voces, Nuestras Historias, a multi-media exhibit conveying immigrant experiences, on view in the Highsmith University Union Gallery, from Mar. 1 - 31, 2012. A reception will be held on Mar. 1, from 7-9pm. That evening will include creation of an interactive multi-media piece involving the artists and gallery-goers.

This new traveling exhibition documenting the lives of immigrants and their journeys to and within Western North Carolina. The exhibit includes art in different and mixed media, and the voices of immigrants interviewed about their lives and experiences.

“As artists, we hope to create dialogue, and include the voices of those living in the shadows,” said Victor Palomino, curator of the exhibition. “We want to convey the moments of resilience and celebration, as well as episodes of discrimination and fear experienced in a diverse range of ways.”

The exhibition grew out of a community-based human rights initiative called Raising Our Voices: The 100 Stories Project, which began shortly after the 2009 raid on the Mills Manufacturing plant where 59 immigrant employees were detained. “Collecting the stories of the people affected by that raid, by the recent raid at Shogun restaurant, and so many other incidents in between, brings to life the fear and isolation of immigrants in our communities,” said Carolina McCready of the Latino Advocacy Coalition, one of the project organizers.

“This exhibit will make those interviews come alive through art and experience,” said Miriam Arias, organizer for the WNC Workers Center. “We believe we will reach more hearts by helping visitors visually understand the realities of immigrants here in the mountains.”

Our Voices, Our Stories, includes works by artists from many backgrounds. Among those featured are Columbian visual artist Sandra Garcia; Romanian painter Adrianna Vasiut; local visual artist and teacher Kenna Sommer; Texas native Chris Corral, a painter of Mexican descent; and Martha Skinner, a Columbian educator and designer of performance installations involving collective participation.

The exhibition is supported by a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council and is co-sponsored by COLA (Coalition of Latin American Organizations), Latino Advocacy Coalition, Center for Participatory Change, WNC Workers Center, Nuestro Centro, UNC Asheville and its Center for Diversity Education.

For further information check our NC Institutional Gallery listings, contact Tracie Pouliot at 828/251-6559 or visit (http://cesap.unca.edu/calendar).


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