Photographed above is “Desperate Cargo,” a piece by Mohamad Hafez, who gave a public lecture as part of the exhibition “Intersections: A Benefit Exhibition for the Immigration Advocacy and Support Center.” The IASC is a New London nonprofit.
The exhibition, held at Conn’s Cummings Arts Center Galleries, also displayed the work of Corina S. Alvarezdelugo, Rafael Colón, Guido Garaycochea, Tedman David Martínez Onofre, Nadine Renazile and Pierre Sylvain all of whom, like Hafez, emigrated to the U.S., sharing the experience of a new country while remaining connected to their countries of origin.
The artists were inspired by varied topics—from spiritual traditions to the war in Syria to gentrification, and their work reflected common themes such as bridging cultures and negotiating the joys, struggles and sorrows created by gaps between communities past and present, near and far.
For this exhibition, artists agreed to offer their work for sale with half of all proceeds donated to the IASC, which supports immigrants by providing low cost, high quality legal services. IASC also works in the community more broadly to advocate for and educate about immigration policy. As part of this ongoing education and advocacy, IASC maintains a partnership with Connecticut College; each semester, several students intern with IASC.
Alongside and in support of this exhibition, Miles Ladin ’90, Juan Flores ’16 and Melissa Luen ’17 presented selections of their work, all dealing with immigrant and migrant narratives and multicultural identities in the U.S.
The exhibition was grounded in a commitment to foster inclusive art experiences and a desire to bring timely issues and diverse audiences together on campus. It was a collaborative effort—among and between Art Department faculty, artists, immigration advocates and various Connecticut College entities and alumni. The show was curated by Chris Barnard, assistant professor of art.