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Exhibit in Albion highlights farmworkers, Latino immigrants

Provided photos: This is one of the photographs in an exhibit about farmworkers and their sacrifices. There will be an opening reception on Sunday at the Salih Studio for “DREAM of America: Separation & Sacrifice in the Lives of North Country Latino Immigrants.”

Staff Reports Posted 19 July 2017 at 9:12 am

ALBION – There will be an opening reception on Sunday featuring a collection of photographs depicting the lives and sacrifices of Latino workers in this country along the US-Mexican border and the families they left in Mexico.

The Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council presents “DREAM of America: Separation & Sacrifice in the Lives of North Country Latino Immigrants” by Lisa Catalfamo-Fiores.

The Salih Gallery at 24 East Bank St. in Albion is hosting the exhibit and is open Thursdays from 5 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. until Aug. 19 for the exhibit.

Maria Gomes Neilans is shown with some of the pottery she created through the “Voices from the Earth” program, which will be displayed in a gallery in Albion through Aug. 19.

This Sunday there will be an opening reception from 1 to 3 p.m. The exhibit is part of GO ART’s Genesee-Orleans Culture Connects Series.

The exhibit also includes a display of pottery made by local farmworkers at the World Life Institute in Waterport. The pottery is created through the “Voices from the Earth,” a joint project of World Life Institute, the Orleans-Niagara BOCES and the GO Art!

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.

The Dream of America photography exhibit was originally produced at Crandall Public Library in Glens Falls in 2016.  GO ART! is pleased to be the first host of the exhibit on a statewide tour in 2017, with showings in Batavia from May-July, and Albion July 15-August 19.

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.

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.

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.

The exhibit also includes a large Oaxaca puppet made by Antonio Cruz Zabaleta. 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.

Ana Rios of Albion is shown with some of the pottery made through the Voices from the Earth program at the World Life Institute.

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