Dream of America Separation & Sacrifice in the Lives of North Country Latino Immigrants
http://The Dream of America was originally produced at Crandall Public Library in Glens Falls, NY in 2016. GO ART! is pleased to be the first host of the exhibit on a statewide tour in 2017, showing in the Bank of Castile Main Gallery in Batavia from May 16-July 7, and at the Idris Salih Gallery in Albion July 15-August 19. Our exhibit includes artwork created by Latino residents in our Western New York region, where many are similarly employed in agriculture. Against the backdrop of political debate and anti-immigrant rhetoric, this timely exhibit shines a light on workers, the work they do, the vibrant culture and people they left behind, the toll of their absence on family back home, and their impact on local communities. Introduction, Lisa Catalfamo Flores, Photographer The exhibit takes us from the milking parlors of New York’s North Country counties to the cinder-block homes of Coyula, Guadalajara, Mexico, and back again. This straightforward perspective asks that we consider without bias or stereotype, the work being done, and the lives and sacrifices of the workers. Hard work and separation are underlying themes of these immigrants’ lives. After two years of photographing workers on local farms I traveled to Coyula to share these photographs with family members. Welcomed with tears and open arms, these visits are powerful testaments to the weight and toll long separations have on loved ones, both here and abroad. Most dramatic, was a prevailing sadness over the disconnection from the daily lives and experiences between workers and their separated family members. In sharing stories with loved ones, a fuller picture of the worker comes into focus. Individual talents, abilities, and desires become evident, leading us to a more complete and human point of view. The symbols of art and culture represented in the photographs are tangible examples, and an integral part of life in Coyula. The intersection of family, faith, celebration, artistic expression, and food, are central themes that inform and enrich lives on both sides of the border.