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.