On Thursday, October 24th, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., CCBC Essex hosted the opening night of an art exhibition titled Innumerable Roads: Hyphenated Spaces, Migration and Refuge, free to the public in the Arts and Humanities Hall Art Gallery.
Thursday night, students and guests gathered to view intimate works produced by 5 featured professional artists: Bonnie Jones, Helen Zughaib, Erick Antonio Benitez, Gina Gwen Palacios, and Press Press.
The exhibition is influenced by themes of immigration and refugees. Each work produced is inspired by the artist’s own personal interpretations and experiences regarding immigration.
Some works included in the exhibition are: 3,050 Red-Crowned Cranes, 2019. Paper. NFS., by Bonnie Jones, Help Wanted, 2017. Acrylic on Embroidered American Flag. $1500, by Gina Gwen Palacios, A New Place to Hide, 2019. Multimedia Installation: Acrylic on Stretched Thermal Mylar, Sound, and Video, by Erick Antonio Benitez, and Installation and Website, By Press Press.
Regarding the theme, Art Curator, Jessica Walton stated, “with everything going on with immigration, politically, it is important to do this exhibition. These works are about finding a sense of sanctuary for people who are in between identities.”
While exploring Gina Gwen Palacios’ works, CCBC Guest, Kene’ Jones found Help Wanted particularly striking. This work contains a help wanted sign painted on the back of the American flag. Jones said, “I feel like this could be implying a couple of things. I feel like it is implying that immigrants contribute greatly to the U.S. in a multitude of ways, and I also feel like the artist is trying to convey that, obviously, the U.S. needs serious help when it comes to immigration.”
As the night progressed, refreshments were served as more guests came to view the exhibition and ask the curator questions regarding the complex nature of the theme. When asked what she thought of the exhibition, CCBC Student, Kaylea Palmer said, “this exhibition is amazing. I’m always interested in art that conveys a message like this. A message that goes against unfairness and that holds such an emotional weight. This is great expression.”
In total, there are 21 works by the featured artists included in the exhibition. 12 works belong to Helen Zughaib, 3 belong to Gina Gwen Palacios, 4 belong to Bonnie Jones, 1 belongs to Erick Antonio Benitez, and 1 belongs to Press Press. Some of these works are for sale with prices ranging from $850 to $1500.
The exhibition comes after an artist panel discussion that took place on October 10, and the exhibition will run until December 5, 2019.
These pieces are amazing in person!
Very lovely article about the exhibits backgrounds.Seeing this in person is far more magnifying then in picture. The visual presence was outstanding.
I think that this is a really great exhibition for CCBC to have held especially right now in time. Many people do not understand immigration and people who must struggle to adept to a new identity while maintaining who they are. There in a lot of corruption in the world right now and many people forget that we are all human and no one is better than anyone else. While there is need for immigration control, there is a need for acceptance. Exhibits like this can help lead to the balance.
The amount of effort and dedication CCBC art students use to create their pieces is remarkable. The show room may be one of the things that I personally miss most about going to the CCBC Essex campus. You can bet that if I had any spare time between classes on campus I would stop in there for 30 to 40 minutes to inspect the inspiring works of CCBC’s students. I remember when these pieces were installed. It was a very breathtaking, emotional, and insightful walkthrough. Everything about the individuality in the subject and medium used in each piece was powerful. Everything from commentary on American politics to the struggle of people dealing with the Hell that is the refugee crisis. No matter what the message, it was all tied into the fact that there’s a huge issue facing mankind. People losing their homes and loved ones to corrupt governments and the violence brought on by there presence.