The Faces and Impact of Immigration
On Thursday, Sept. 6, coinciding with the College’s Founders Week, Assumption College will celebrate the opening of Immigrate Emigrate: Our Long Journeys, a community art exhibition on display in the Emmanuel d’Alzon Library. This exhibit features the work of artists who have contributed their visual interpretations of migration journeys, either personally or culturally. The works presented are intended to spark conversation about immigration from a personal perspective
The works of art presented in Immigrate Emigrate: Our Long Journeys were created by artists within the greater Worcester community, as well as Assumption students, alumni, and faculty. The work includes sculpture, photography, painting, printmaking, installation, graphic design, and written works. Lynn Simmons, visiting assistant professor of art and design at Assumption, shared that while the College hosts a number of exhibits throughout the year, this is the first time it has sponsored an exhibit on immigration.
One of the artists displaying her work in the exhibit is Anne Harris ’12, whose piece, Močiutė's Lietuva, was inspired by her grandmother. Harris explained that her grandmother was 16 years old when she was forced to flee from her native homeland of Lithuania, abruptly leaving family and farm, never to see her brother or sister again, due to the Soviet Communist Occupation in 1944. “My grandmother fled on foot through fields and forests, escaping bombs as they fell from the sky with her mother. They safely arrived in the United States by boat in 1949, settling in Worcester in 1952,” she said.
Her paintings, in which she uses gouache on Arches watercolor rolls with yarn and string, represent “my grandmother and the eternal love that she and Lithuanians have for their landscape,” she said. Harris added that the rolls of paper she used were with her when she backpacked Mount Greylock and “reflect not only the changing seasons, weather, and atmospheres, but also my deep love for the Berkshire landscape,” she said. These paintings, now bound with yarn, are the three colors of the Lithuanian flag.
The opening reception and exhibit are free and open to the public. The art exhibit will run through November 8. Prof. Simmons, who is also co-director of local arts entity Healing Fibers, along with Bayda Asbridge, founder and director of HF, are planning a larger version of this show next year.
Kimberly Dunbar, Director of Public Affairs, Assumption College