Natalia Nakazawa, "Our Stories of Migration" (2017-present), woven tapestry.

Pelham Art Center presents a new exhibit, "IN/FLUX," a visual art exhibition of people in flux, or an influx of people, opening this Friday, Sept. 20. The opening reception is free from 6-8pm.

Curated by Executive Director Charlotte Mouquin and Gallery Advisory Board Member Victoria Rolettt, the exhibit brings together immigrant and first generation artists. Each artist responds to immigration stories through his or her unique vantage point in a time of diverging world views. Challenging norms, these artists place an up-close lens on historical and present-day issues surrounding traversing the globe, including the travails of oppression betwixt borders.

Utilizing a variety of art media, they reflect the complexity of immigrant experience through installation, sculpture, encaustic, photography, design, collage, and bio art. Artists include Corina S. Alvarezdelugo (Venezuelan) , Selin Balci (Turkish), Nicky Enright (Ecuadorian-American), David Rios Ferreira (first generation Puerto Rican), Alejandra Hernandez (first generation Mexican), Jenny Polak (British), Omid Shekari (Iranian), Ruben Natal San Miguel (Puerto Rican), Natalia Nakazawa (first generation Uruguayan/Japanese American) and Victoria-Idongesit Udondian (Nigerian).

The exhibit will continue until Nov. 2. An Artist Talk Sis scheduled for aturday, October 5 at 3:00 pm

The Republic of Unknown Territory a site specific installation by Victoria-Idongesit Udondian greets visitors with suspended draped figurative elements, floating hijabs, disembodied shoes, reaching hands, overflowing suitcases and sound recordings of immigrant stories in the entrance gallery. From the series Design for the Alien Within, The Media Center by Jenny Polak is a fictional furniture piece that incorporates hiding places for people without immigration papers. There are accompanying assembly directions and audio elements.

Natalia Nakazawa contemplates human movement in a large map tapestry with incorporated art objects. Our Stories of Migration shows routes of migration, travel and trade throughout history. This installation in the main gallery will be interactive at the opening reception where gallery attendees will be asked to participate and share personal stories of migration. David Rios Ferreira’s works, a sculptural boat and drawings, combine contemporary and historical imagery to create metaphors for the process of cultural appropriation. This reconstitution of pop culture, cultural symbolism and myth redefines identities in a post-colonial society.

Encaustic panels with fabric collage elements depict boundaries, borders, and home in the work of Corina S. Alvarezdelugo. From the series “Remendando Mi Patria” and “Coddiwomple” these pieces are personal narratives of political upheaval, movement and re-building. In his latest series, National Security is our priority!, Omid Shekari depicts how state power manifests in everyday life. This piece, Normalization is in progress!, is made of resin containing shards of a locally-bought revolver and ammunition. It seeks to express how starkly force and domination shape lived experience.

Nicky Enright’s Globos are an invented currency combining elements of the legal tender of over twenty-five countries. Through the globo, Enright questions the role of money and presents a vision of global citizenship and world unity. Alejandra Hernandez’s window installation Homenaje is informed by her Mexican-American cultural identity. The piece combines found materials including a lawn mower and receipts of money orders sent to family abroad.

Thirteen portraits by renowned photographer Ruben Natal San Miguel depict faces of New York City. He empowers often marginalized people by collecting their individual stories and sharing his depictions of their strength and beauty. Selin Balci utilizes mold spores grown in a bio lab as metaphors for the human condition in our ongoing fight for resources and territory. These abstract works on panels are a new form of art that takes months to grow in a laboratory/studio.

Nikay Paredes will perform a live reading at the opening reception. Her poems examine the relationship of colonialism in her native Philippines and perceptions of her immigrant experience in the United States.

Pelham Art Center will host three Folk Art celebrations during this exhibition: Afro-Puerto Rican Bomba celebration with BombaYo! takes place Sunday, Sept. 22nd 2-4pm. Diwali the Hindu festival of lights will take place Sunday, Oct. 6th 2-4pm. Mexican Day of the Dead will be celebrated Sunday, Oct. 27th 2-4pm. There will be additional performance art during ArtsFest weekend Oct. 4-6th, with an artist talk Saturday, Oct 5th at 3pm.

Tours for student groups and community organizations with workshops can be arranged. Please contact the Pelham Art Center to inquire. 

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