Date(s) - 09/19/2020
12:00 pm-3:00 pm
D.R.A.W. at Energy Square
The first show at the DRAW’s new studio at Energy Square, 20 Cedar St. in Kingston, will feature paintings depicting migrant culture Sept. 5-30.
The free show, “Masking Identities: Rebuilding Deterritorialized Cultural Memories,” by Humanamente Executive Director and Kingston artist Marielena Ferrer, will also include wire sculptures and an artist’s book.
The studio will be open from noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays and at other times by appointment. Due to the pandemic, everyone in the studio will be required to wear facemasks and practice social distancing.
Most of the artwork will also be visible from outside the building through the studio’s large, ground-floor windows.
Ferrer, originally from Venezuela, moved to Kingston in 2011 after living in Spain for a decade. She designed the exhibit as the COVID crisis spread and she was confined to her Kingston home.
“The irony of planning this installation while following the state’s stay-at-home order has not escaped me,” Ferrer says. “It’s ironic because migrant culture always involves feelings of being in transit, suspended between two worlds.” Those worlds are the migrant’s place of origin and new place of residence.
“I am among the migrants who worked to adjust to life here in the United States,” she adds. “Many migrants struggle with this. We struggle with balancing the new society’s ways of life with our original values and traditions. We have to decide who we are, who we were and who we want to become.”
This balancing struggle can lead to identity confusion, with migrants sometimes unsure of who they are “supposed” to be at any given time, she says.
“One of the remarkable things about this country is that nearly all our families originally came from someplace else,” says the DRAW Executive Director Lara Giordano.
“Immigration is part of our national DNA,” she says. “It’s something we can all take pride in. And immigration is something that makes this exhibition by Marielena so meaningful to so many people.”
“These works reflect both this extraordinary time of the pandemic, when we’re all struggling, and the timeless struggles people go through when they move to a new way of life in the hope of improving their lives,” Giordano adds.
Ferrer says: “For those of us living far from our places of origin, creating colorful expressions of art can help preserve our personal and cultural identities, while maintaining a bond to the lives we knew. It also lets us explore, decide, declare, express, experience and question ideas about our identities over time.”
The DRAW, or the Department of Regional Art Workers, is the art education project of Kingston Midtown Arts District, or MAD. Humanamente is a diversity management organization.
To learn more about the show or make an appointment to view it, please call 845-633-0815 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.