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GO ART! presents DREAM of America

Juy 20, 2017
Press Release

GO ART! presents DREAM of America: Separation & Sacrifice in the Lives of North Country Latino Immigrants by Lisa Catalfamo-Fiores. A collection of photographs the depicting the lives and sacrifices of Latino workers in this country along the US-Mexican border and the families they left in Mexico.
July 15th- August 19
Salih Gallery, 24 E. Bank St., Albion
Thursdays, 5:00-7:00 pm, Saturdays, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Opening Reception Sunday, July 23, 1:00-3:00 pm

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, with showings in Batavia May-July, and Albion July 15-August 19. Our exhibit includes pottery created by immigrants and farm workers who participate in the Voices from the Earth pottery program in Orleans County, and local Mexican artist, Antonio Cruz Zavaleta. Lorenzo's Mexican Products of Albion is preparing light refreshments for the event. The exhibit is part of GO ART's Genesee-Orleans Culture Connects Series.

The exhibit, created by Lisa Catalfamo Flores, takes viewers 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. Catalfamo Flores, after two years of photographing workers on local farms, traveled to Coyula to share these photographs with family members, which is also documented in the exhibit. 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.

Voices from the Earth is a joint project of World Life Institute, a non-profit organization with facilities in Waterport and Medina; the Orleans-Niagara Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), an arm of the New York State Education Department; and the Genesee Orleans Regional Arts Council (GoArt!). The pottery in the exhibit is entirely handmade from earthenware clay. Most are glazed in an array of lively colors. They range from baking dishes and platters to fanciful garden fountains and jars with tropical vines and lizards. These pieces complement the theme of the photography show. Newcomers to the U.S. acquire new skills and new possibilities to express themselves, while in many cases referring back to pottery and imagery that was familiar in their home countries. Pottery specialist Deborah Wilson has led the program since its inception in 2006.

Antonio Cruz Zavaleta created a large Oaxacan puppet for the exhibit. Called monos de calenda, these puppets rest on people's shoulders as they dance and spin in parades in Mexico for weddings, community festivals and holidays. Cruz Zavaleta is a native of Oaxaca, Mexico. He is a professional artist in multiple media, including visual, painting, drawing, sculpture, and Mexican traditional arts. The puppet was created with the assistance of students attending GO ART!'s Creative Arts Camp in April, 2017.

Photographer Lisa Catalfamo-Flores lives on a small farm in Kingsbury, NY, with her husband Omar, 20 milking goats, 250 chickens, and 4 dogs. A school social worker for the past 18 years, she is also an advocate and volunteer with the local Hispanic community. Over the past two years, she has been photographing and interviewing Hispanic workers locally, and their families in Coyula, Mexico, for the project, "The Dream of America." When Lisa is not at home on her farm, she enjoys combining her love of travel with her love of photojournalism.


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