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This ASU West campus exhibition: Migration: Community Dialogue Through Visual Expression - January, 2009, is to compliment the March Symposium on Immigration facilitated through the efforts of Dr. William Simmons. Exhibition mounted by participants of the Cultural Arts Coalition.
THIS IS A WORKING DOCUMENT THAT WILL EVOLVE OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF MONTHS!
The four areas of visual discussion will be presented around these themes:
Acknowledging the importance of the visual arts to present a Humanities dialogue though viewer interaction will be documented by educators and participants of the Cultural Arts Coalition. These endeavors will be coordinated by humanities scholar, Dr. Kathryn Coe, University of Arizona, professor and author of the book "Ancestress Hypothesis: Visual Arts as Adaptation".
Arizona is a microcosm of diverse cultures and environments. Artists whose roots go back generations intermingle with new transplants. The artists study life and local habitats, and by recording their experiences share them with all of us. Art has an enormous impact on our daily lives. It exposes a community to the ideas, stories and deeply felt emotions of others, breaking down barriers and stereotypes, thereby, and working toward promoting a more global vision.
All human relationships and societies deal with conflict and varied means to resolve differences. Conflicts often stem from very complex emotions around the NEED FOR RESOURCES (natural and monetary) and SUSTAINABILITY (personal or communal). The arts are a means of communication and have existed since the beginning of human history. Material forms of artistic expression as metaphors of intellectual concepts predated language as a means to connect ideas of abstract thinking. Artists stand in a unique position to help us identify and reflect upon many important issues of the day. They utilize a universal language that often draws upon powerful images to convey the emotions and meaning in our world. Since, communication is a vital and necessary factor in conflict resolution artists can help us facilitate this process in a non-threatening and nonviolent manner.
The arts enable us as a coalition to provide a means for people to frame issues themselves in a fresh way without the intervention of another person. The arts can be both language and metaphor, helping people to go ddper in their own understanding or to begin to access knowledge and wisdon they had not considered previously.
Beginning research to present this exhibition and decipher the myths from reality concerning immigration, invited citizens attended a reception by the Morrison Institute to engage Arizona's Community Leaders. The administration provides an opportunity to network around a document titled Forum 411—Immigration: From Global to Local to Kids. Forum 411 is a quarterly briefing series offering policy, business, education and community leaders vital information on Arizona's critical issue.
Forum 411 is presented by WESTCOR.
The Arizona Cultural Arts Coalition is comprised of a concerned group of citizens from all walks of life who design, conduct, interpret and explain the use of the arts as means of communication to advance the resolution of social problems. The group's documented methodology of utilizing the arts as tools for promoting community dialogue and critical inquiry has an impact on behavior, public opinion and public policy.
Participants within the CAC have taken on the theme of Migration: Community Dialogue Through Visual Expression for a year long commitment to Awaken, Inform, Reflect and Inspire individuals to determine one's personal responsibility to RAISE ONE'S VOICE concerning possibly the most controversial subject facing all ages of people in the state of Arizona. One of the ways for this to occur is to create a safe place for civic dialogue where all persons can connect to the facts, dispelling the myths and misinterpretations on this subject.
One of the ways for this to occur is by all people connecting to all the facts and dispelling the myths.
Let Us Begin:
Migration: Definition - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_migration
"Worlds Above, Worlds Below" a 39 inch X 56 inch oil on canvas by Dennis Numkena, is symbolic of Anaszi and Hopi migrations at a time when they lived among Meso-American civilizations. The Hopi have resided in the Four Corners area of Arizona for more than 1,000 years. Fifty years ago, Dennis’ father told him stories of a city buried deep in the jungles of Mexico, the Mayan city of Palenque, “The Birthplace of the Gods”.
Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico, located in the northwest of the Maya lowlands, is considered as one of the most important archaeological sites of Mesoamerica. As in other Maya areas, here there was a vigorous development in religious and civil architecture, as well as in art and crafts. The earliest evidence of occupation date from about 100 B.C., when it may have been a small farming village (formative period). Throughout the early classic (300-600 A.D.) the city grew steadily, and by the late classic (600-900 A.C.) it had become the power center that ruled over a large part of what today is the states of Chiapas and Tabasco.
During most of human history, a multiplicity of human species lived and traversed the same land. Migration is a natural phenomenon.
It appears that most individuals move FREELY from one land mass to another, sometimes over great distance to SEEK for the mere notion of adventure; TO TRADE or for SURVIVAL due to lack of necessary resources to sustain one physically and emotionally. (This exhibition will not focus on forced migration.)
Wupatki, Arizona, Wupatki National Monument: Less than 800 years ago, Wupatki Pueblo was the largest pueblo around. It flourished for a time as a meeting place of different cultures. Yet this was one of the warmest and driest places on the Colorado Plateau, offering little obvious food, water, or comfort. How and why did people live here? The builders of Wupatki and nearby pueblos have moved on, but their legacy remains.
The Ball Court, a Mexican Idea at Wupatki. Ball courts were common in southern Arizona from 750 ADE to 1200, but relatively rare in the northern part of the state. This suggests that the people of Wupatki intermingled with their southern Arizona neighbors-the Hohokam-who may have borrowed and modified the ball court idea from earlier contact with the Indian cultures of Mexico. All of these diverse cultures of American Indians moved freely across this vast territory for hundreds of years until a physical, land border was established in 1912, less than a hundred years ago.
For purposes of this exhibition the focus will be on migration to make a better life for oneself and family due to lack of resources to sustain one physically, emotionally and intellectually.
All of present-day Arizona became part of the Mexican State of Vieja California upon the Mexican assertion of independence from Spain in 1821. The United States took possession of most of Arizona at the end of the Mexican-American War in 1848. In 1853, the land below the Gila River was acquired from Mexico in the Gadsden Purchase. Arizona was administered as part of the Territory of New Mexico until it was organized into a separate territory on February 24, 1863.
Arizona was admitted into the Union—officially becoming a U.S. state—on February 14, 1912.
In the early 1900s, Mexicans poured into the USA, welcomed by U.S. factory and farm owners who needed their labor. Until entry rules tightened in 1924, they simply paid a nickel to cross the border and get visas for legal residency.
"The vast majority were here legally, because it was so easy to enter legally," says Kevin Johnson, a law professor at the University of California, Davis.
They spread out across the nation. They sharecropped in California, Texas and Louisiana, harvested sugar beets in Montana and Minnesota, laid railroad tracks in Kansas, mined coal in Utah and Oklahoma, packed meat in Chicago and assembled cars in Detroit.
Today these people are still arriving from Mexico due to limited, attainable resources in their own country.
The three previous images have been provided by Annie Loyd (Raise Our Voices) from a trip she took to Mexico, to witness for herself the need of Latinas(os) to emigrate across the Arizona border from Mexico.
Gabriella Munoz's works deal with the immigrant life, the struggle to both assimilate a new culture and the undeniable retention of some Latin-American traditions that are crucial for the formation of a new identity here in the United States as a demographic group that enriches the fabric of American culture. The lives of women and the interconnectedness of various ethnic groups are at the heart of her work.
From this point of the exhibition the visual commentary will flow into defining a border, the origin of borders in Arizona and the issues of concern around the Arizona/Mexican border today.
The important art project by Morgana Wallace and her associates will be highlighted here.
The Border Project - http://www.ArtsCARE.org/cac.event.38.shtml
June 14, 2008, Exhibition/Reception at Tohono O’odham Cultural Center, Sells, Arizona. A mixed media and reflective process in an installation that highlights the perspectives of high school students, living along a culturally and politically controversial border.
Morgana Wallace, a Curley School artist and teacher living in Ajo, Arizona, spent many weeks in three different art classrooms:
**Ajo High School (Ajo, Arizona)
**Tohono O’odham High School (Tohono O’odham Nation, Arizona)
**Cobach High School (Sonoyta, Mexico)
During these sessions Morgana and the students of very culturally diverse backgrounds generated discussion, drawings, writings and sculptures on their perceptions of the word ‘border’ and its relevance to their daily lives.
SPECIFY: Who do you think of? What do you SEE? Where do you SEE it? How is it all happening?
This project intends to give a voice to our youth, a population whose future will be impacted by how we approach and resolve border issues today.
The overall goal reflects specifically the need and capacity for our youth to be a part of the decisions for their future.
This action response is in direct relationship to the Morrison Institutes research and documentation on this very issue:
1. One out of 3 Arizona children has at least one immigrant parent.
2. 80% of pre-K children of immigrants are U.S. citizens.
3. There are 471, 000 children in Arizona who are legal with at least one immigrant parent.
4. Immigrants will account for a bigger share of new workers in 2020 than native born citizens.
5. Immigrants today are learning English as quickly as those early in the 20th century.
Arizona has become a destination and an Immigration corridor for persons from around the world.These are the facts presented by the Morrison Institute for Public Policy, ASU, Downtown Campus through a pamphlet titled Forum 411: Engaging Arizona’s Leaders, funded by Westcor on June 11, '08.
The written statements do not reflect the sentiment of the image of the person in the photograph above or below the quote.The point is these varied responses and points of view stimulated reflective, critical inquiry dialogue that helped to bring into the open- thoughtful and meaningful communication leading to potential resolve. (There are many more images for this component of the exhibition.)
Next the exhibition will highlight: What Latina(o) Immigrants bring with them: Cultural Values, ideas and beliefs that enrich our communities:
Marco A. Albarrán:
I strongly believe in the promotion of diversity and community development. I believe in the implementation of arts and culture into community programs and projects. I also believe that all people can reach a sense of social and cultural balance through the arts. I really enjoy giving people positive messages, and educational experiences that create interaction and understanding. As an artist, my art reflect simple images, and ancient colors. As a child I was strongly influenced by traditional ways as I walked through the small calles "Guanajuato" in Mexico. There, the vivid colors, aromas and the diversity of every day life, prepared me for the life at "la frontera," the Mexican border, and gave me the energy for life on the other side of the border. My art reflects ancient indigenous beliefs and ways of life, and incorporates the power and expressions of spirituality. One major theme of my art is closely connected to the Dia de los Muertos, a tradition of many thousands of years in Mexico. My altar and ofrenda installations include found and natural materials prevalent in many of the Mexican traditional celebrations. As an artist, I strive for the opportunity to express my Mexican traditions and culture. Our web site at www.marcoalbarran.com or www.calaca.org
Tlisza Jaurique's art works have hung in various galleries and been exhibited in many public spaces. They stimulate thoughtful dialog as symbols representational of stories about values, ideas and beliefs that sustain a culture of individuals. They do not represent a religious orientation; instead they are symbols of universal archetypes.
Why is art an integral component to our humanity? Verily, it is our written and visual language that defines our being. Art is the earliest recorder of history and our tracker of human consciousness. Art is a language whose definitions are dependent on the artist and social history. Art provides alternative metaphors of reality by communicating other definitions of and for existence.
My own artwork stems from multi-lingual and multi-visual foundations. At a young age I experienced living in different worlds, worlds where there exist more than one finite definition of possibility. Who I am invariably influences what and how I create. My perspective is founded in my native (Yaqui) roots, family history, and a westernized education. My art focuses on resolving theoretic conflicts of my heritage/s. My art also has always maintained a feminist dialog. I come from matriarchal systems. I use art as a tool to remember, record, and recollect my contextual histories. By valuing diversity, we are able to eliminate the fear found in possessive systems, where only one way is allowed.
Tlisza is an undergraduate of Vassar and a graduate of a Masters Program in Art Education from ASU. She has written arts education curriculum to bridge understanding of the Anglo world to the Latino world through examining and exploring "Myth, Rituals and Symbols of the Ancient Americans". She is an active participant with the Cultural Arts Coalition.
Martin Moreno was born in Adrian, Michigan, in 1950, where he grew up speaking Spanish at home and English in school. His parents were hard working people in the fields and factories. He credits these experiences with providing much of the subject matter he depicts in his artwork. "My earliest memories of color and rhyme are that of the fields, sitting in the back of a pickup truck watching rows of corn and tomatoes from a visual pattern of rhythm. Listening to the realities of superstition told by the elders, stories of the Llorona (crier), the Earth, and stories of my glorious past." All of these images come to life in his sculpture, murals, painting and mosaics. But the beauty is not the only thing Mr. Moreno paints.
In the 30 plus years that he has been creating Art, his mission has been to enlighten the public by depicting not only the beauty of mankind but also those areas that are often kept hidden. "I don't always do pretty art, I believe it is the artist's right, even duty, to point fingers and depict the seamier side of humanity when needed." Some of the murals he creates, while at first glance look beautiful and carefree, are often, when looked at with a closer eye, full of images that make up our reality in the 21st century. Images of our young people giving up their lives to drugs, alcohol, and other abuses are sometimes depicted amongst the aloe vera plants that provide us with healing powers. Political statements are made in his monoprints, which spur conversation, heated or otherwise.
Youths' artworks will also be exhibited from programs like Art Awakenings
The in-house program is driven by Key People: Director Mike Graser with YMCA, PSA Art Awakenings lead artist Martin Moreno.
Mary Rose Wilcox receives a Cesar Chavez tile made by a Las Artes student, Nathan Maldonado, for her efforts through the Maricopa Board of Supervisors to implement and fund this community project.
"This program demands of a youth to explain oneself artistically and thereby automatically leads to educational success."
The mosaic tile artworks:
The subject of the mosaic artworks were revealed as broad scoped:
And profound in the messages conveyed and symbolically understood:
Many other artists' work will be included in this exhibition. This is just a beginning to how the exhibition will be presented as a basis for community dialogue.
The final area of artworks to be on view at the ASU West campus library: What are these immigrants civil rights and due process of law when they arrive? What is happening now?
Unraveling personal rights is paramount during this exploration process to discount the myths supporting a person’s fears concerning immigration and instead place a focus on the due process of law and civil liberties.
Once again the educational process (information gathering) is essential.
How is the community providing information for those to know what their rights are and for every citizen to cope with their fears and anger? This dialogue needs to occur for individuals on both sides of the issue.
Arts and Learning events presented throughout the year at community centers
around subject areas that allow for critical inquiry and problem solving.
Community murals that honor the traditional values. Mural by Zarco Guerrero
And community symposiums that provide ways for immigrant children to academically advance to the betterment of the whole community:
Hispanic Youth Symposium
July 16-July 19, 2008, Arizona State University West campus
This evening's event was inspiring and well coordinated, providing tools to Hispanic youth for the purposefulness of focus to attend college and graduate through financial assistance from the Hispanic College Fun.
Recognition of these Hispanic Heroes who make this possible occurred in the late afternoon of the first day of workshops, Thursday, July 17th, 2008:
Youth and adults alike were acknowledged for their contributions to make possible these three days of information gathering by Rosemary Ybarra-Hernandez.
At the same time in a second large meeting space an additional 100 student participants were involved with a workshop termed Issues-to-Action. This workshop was to formulate an action plan to tackle issues that affect the Hispanic community. The most effective plan by an individual won a $1,000 grant so this person can implement it in their community.
Students were divided into four colors coded working groups of approximately 50 youth per group. Participants were selected from an application process with submitted essays. These youth arrived on Wednesday and are being housed in campus dorms.
During the next two days youth were exposed to programming that will assist them to develop an individual development plan based on short-term and long-term objectives so they can succeed in all of their professional, personal and academic endeavors: financing college; understanding the SAT/ACT testing process; strategic application and how to write a college essay.
Establishing relationships that will remain long after the symposium is over is also part of the overall symposium's objective.
An additional aspect of the symposium is the presentation of scholarships in speech, talent, written essay and the visual arts. Some of the youth brought their visual arts with them for exhibition:
Your input to this working document, critical review and artworks for the exhibition are welcome.