EXHIBIT: Uncaged Art – Powerful Art Made by Detained Migrant Youth
Wednesday, October 2 | 11:00 am - Thursday, October 31 | 5:00 pm
A rare chance to see powerful art produced by detained migrant youth
This free exhibit sponsored by Peterborough Lights for Liberty Coalition and the Mariposa Museum will come to the Mariposa October 2 – 31. A reception on October 9 from 6:30pm to 8pm is open to the public and also free of charge, as is the continuing first floor exhibit.
In December 2018 and January 2019, two teachers instructed their students to create art about their homelands, the architecture and their culture. The students were incarcerated immigrant children at the Tornillo Detention Center in Tornillo, Texas. The assignment was meant to instill pride in kids who were separated from their parents and living a precarious existence in a prison-like setting. Using basic supplies students recreated colorful memories of their homelands: Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Over 400 artworks were created.
When the camp closed, most of the art was thrown away. However, Rafael Garcia, a local priest, was able to save 29 pieces. These salvaged artworks became the exhibit, Uncaged Art, which is currently on display at the Centennial Museum of the University of Texas at El Paso. The Uncaged Art exhibit has gained national attention as concern about the physical conditions in detention facilities and the psychological impact of family separation has grown.
A small group within Concord’s Kent Street Coalition, led by Glen Ring and Ruth Sanchez, created a traveling version of the show in El Paso. “I can’t remember exactly when I first saw these artworks, but I immediately wanted everyone to see them,” says Glen Ring. “They speak to your heart – you see the beauty inside children who are being dehumanized.” Ruth Sanchez speaks of dehumanization too. “When you are in dehumanizing circumstances, as these children are, creating art is a way to reconnect with who you are, to survive,” she says.
Taken from professional photographs of the art pieces, the show will share 26 vibrant and poignant images with viewers in the Northeast and possibly beyond. The traveling exhibit retained copies of the text panels that accompany the original show and set the artwork in historical context.