Photos exhibit immigrants' plight

By Jennifer Sargent

Special to the Arizona Daily Wildcat

A swarm of immigrants from all over the world will be coming to the Center of Creative Photography this year or at least their photographs will be on display.

A scheduled three-part series of exhibits will examine immigration through the eyes and lenses of those who knew the subject best: the immigrants themselves.

The series, called "Points of Entry," includes the works of a wide variety of photograhers who immigrated to this country or are second-generation Americans.

The first exhibit, called "Reframing America" and beginning Sept. 17, gives an unromanticised view of the New World through the work of seven photographers who emmigrated from Europe. Bringing the European aesthetic and high hopes for a new life, these photographers documented the immigration experience in a way their American contemporaries were unable to do.

Nancy Solomon, director of publications and public information for the Center, emphasised the importance of the immigrants' perspective. "These photographers recorded what they saw, even when it was considered unflattering," she said. "The reviews showed that people were mad about the violence and poverty reflected in the photographs."

"Reframing America" includes photographers Robert Frank, Otto Hagel and Lissette Model, among others. It runs until Nov. 5.

The second exhibit, "A Nation of Strangers," begins on Nov. 19. This exhibit comprises approximately 200 photographs, genre pictures, cartoons, illustrations and broadsides of what Solomon called "an historical view of the nineteenth century presenting visions of, but not necessarily by, immigrants."

The works of Ansel Adams, Arnold Genthe, Dorothea Lange, Pok Chi Lau and several others will be featured until "A Nation of Strangers" ends on Jan. 7.

"Tracing Cultures," beginning on Jan. 21, explores the effects of immigration through the photo-related art of the descendants of this century's immigrants.

Solomon described the artists as "second- and third-generation Americans who are keeping thier heritage alive in the face of our mainstream culture." The works address issues such as origin, acculturation, adjustment and displacement in a nation falling short of the "melting pot" ideal.

The series is the result of a colloborative effort by curators in Tucson, San Diego and San Francisco three cities in which immigration continues to play an integral role. Each of the exhibits opens in the gallery in which it was created, and then travels to the other cities.

The Center of Creative Photography's opening of its "Reframing America" will include a discussion with National Public Radio announcer Andrei Codrescu on September 15.

Regular gallery hours are Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.

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