“We The Immigrants” September 28 to October 29, 2017
Artist’s Reception Saturday, October 14, 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Christine Anninos • Lila Asher • Cynthia Back • Sally Canzoneri • Rosemary Cooley • Michael Hagan • Pauline Jakobsberg • Karin Lithell • Dave Mann • Jane Mann • Ron Meick • Nina Muys • Rosalie O’Donnell • Peggy Parker • Carolyn Pomponio • Marta Sanchez • Danny Schweers • Kanika Sircar • Matina Marki Tillman • Blaise Tobia • Leigh Vogel • Ellen Winkler • Max-Karl Winkler • Lisa Ferraro Wood • Helen Zughaib
We are all of us immigrants, crossing borders and calling the new place home. We move through time. We have left the past and, though the present may be new to us, unfamiliar and foreign, we adapt to it. Many in our mobile society have moved to new places. We are challenged to make a home in new communities, new landscapes, new cities. We may feel like outsiders for years, and are sometimes treated like outsiders. Many of us have actually crossed international borders to become naturalized citizens in our new country, changing our identity and loyalty, adapting our ways while trying to preserve the best of the old. Most of us have ancestors who immigrated. And even us natives, we who have lived here for generations and have no interest in moving, we too are challenged to adapt as the place we knew changes.
These are some of the themes explored in the art exhibit “We The Immigrants” at the Washington Printmakers Gallery. The artists are not expected to color inside the lines. Borders will be crossed, new situations explored, old idioms set in new environments, histories recounted and reinterpreted.
Pursuing the theme of immigration, we, the members of the Washington Printmakers Gallery, have invited guest artists (listed below) to exhibit their work side-by-side with the work of our members. Usually only member artists exhibit work in our gallery. We pay monthly dues for that privilege and we volunteer our hours to make the gallery work. That is what makes this place ours. But, for this exhibit, our exclusive exhibition rights are waived in favor of hospitality and welcome.
“We The Immigrants” will be on display September 27 thru October 28, 2017 at the Washington Printmakers Gallery, 1641 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. This is in the Georgetown neighborhood, just south of Book Hill Park. Numerous other galleries are nearby, as are many restaurants and shops.
An artists’ reception will be held Saturday, October 14, 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., in conjunction with the Georgetown Galleries “2nd Saturday” event.
I work with cut, crushed, and powered glass fused together in a kiln to form one solid piece. Glass transmits and reflects light like no other material. In “Murano Fiori,” I use the millefiori technique from Murano Italy. This work is inspired by my mother who immigrated from Italy to the United States in 1950. Returning often, she collected many Murano glass pieces.
My print Reason for Leaving: famine; Country: Ireland, of a field of blackened potatoes, references her 1840s Irish ancestors forced to emigrate from Ireland.
Margaret McHale sailed on the Teutonic in 1894 from County Mayo, Ireland to America at age 22. One of eight children, she had been schooled in Latin and Greek by the parish priest, and was “giving back” by teaching. When her sister Delia died in the US in childbirth, Margaret sailed to retrieve the baby, whose father could not care for her. He never gave permission for the child to return to Ireland, so Margaret stayed, exchanging the classroom to become a milliner. She married Francis O’Donnell in 1905 and brought up the child along with another born some years later, my mother. The intrigue of Ireland brought the artist, Rosemary Cooley, to Dublin where she studied at Trinity College. Driving to County Mayo, she met relatives and found the house where her grandmother had been born. The thatched roof of the cottage had fallen in and a large tree grew up in the middle, a positive symbol. A happy gift resulting from my grandmother’s brave odyssey to America, is my Irish passport, which my siblings and I obtained after searching for the five required documents. The US allows dual citizenship with Ireland. The marriage license pictured in the artwork is genuine, and was found on microfiche in Trenton, NJ. Margaret had little love for the British, and disdained Queen Victoria, who disallowed the speaking of Gaelic. The stamp of Alfred Lord Tennyson, British poet who wrote “Ulysses” in 1833, almost a century before James Joyce wrote his iconic book of the same name. I like to imagine Margaret, who knew her Greek myths, reading her countryman’s book with a sense of pride (and, of course, shock) as she reflected on Homer’s hero, Odysseus, whom the Romans called Ulysses, in the person of Stephen Dedalus, James Joyce’s alter ego.
After her husband died, Pauline Jakobsberg wanted to commemorate his life by delving into the tragic ends of so many of his relatives in the Holocaust. Wolfy, her husband, was lucky to escape to Bolivia and then to the U.S. where he immigrated years ago. Pauline’s work is full of sorrow and demonstrates that even a small object, like a handkerchief, can carry great significance.
Mann’s prints reflect on his grandfathers, who were first- and second-generation immigrants from Sweden and Germany, and the hard work involved in setting up lives as Americans.
When I was five and lived in Brazil, my grandfather gave me a big Teddy. I treasured him and called him Beppo. When my parents divorced and I went back to Europe, Beppo came along. Again I was uprooted at the age of 16 and immigrated to America. Beppo was with me on the long train ride from Munich to Genoa and then on the boat to New York. I look at him often and remember the tight grip I had on him as I took my big journey to a new land, not knowing what lay ahead.
Ms. O’Donnell graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Practice of Art. She subsequently spent 30 years teaching art and music at all grade levels from pre-school to college. She worked at various private art galleries in the Sacramento area, started a cooperative gallery with a group of friends, and served as Gallery Director of the Ridley Gallery at Sierra College in Northern California. She served as the Director of the Art League Gallery in Alexandria, VA, from 2006 until 2015.
Margaret Adams Parker
A printmaker and sculptor whose works often deal with religious and social justice themes, Ms. Parker has an extensive exhibition record, including 25 solo shows. She taught painting and drawing for 19 years at The Art League School in Alexandria, VA and has served as adjunct instructor at Virginia Theological Seminary since 1991. A graduate of Wellesley College, Parker holds a Master of Fine Arts Degree from American University. She was awarded a Virginia Commission for the Arts Fellowship and has served as a Coolidge Fellow at the Association for Religion and Intellectual Life, Artist in Residence at the Center for Art and Religion, Wesley Seminary, Washington, DC, and a Calvin College Summer Seminars Fellow.
Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Chicana painter Marta Sanchez is deeply inspired by traditional Mexican folk art expressions. Her works on paper are mostly linocuts and monotypes, which follow the social and cultural traditions of Mexican and Chicano/a Art. Marta has been working on a series of paintings of the San Antonio train yards near her childhood home. Through these paintings, she explores the role of trains in the Mexican migration through the Southern Pacific Carpas.
My photograph of une petit jeune fille curled up on top of a suitcase is, perhaps, a too obvious choice to depict the trauma of transition across borders. I came across this sad red, white, and blue girl at an airport outside Paris, France. My other two photos, of bamboo, are of my summer project to contain a stand of bamboo behind a border. Having dug a trench and installed a barrier, I then dug up and disposed of any bamboo found on the wrong side of the border. Immigration? I will not allow it, not of this invasive species.
Kanika Sircar has work in the 2017 National Small Works show. She is a native of eastern India now living in the United States. Her Rg Veda wall tiles playfully juxtapose hymns of the invaders of Northern India with maps of Mars, the cosmic imaginings of bards as they looked at the night sky.
Matina Marki Tillman
“Forgotten” is a Solarplate etching from a digital collage that I created playing with interwoven layers of light and dark. It took me multiple drawn figures and series of photographs throughout the years in order to satisfactorily portray the person that departs and to suggest, as well as I could, the timeless atmosphere of the place that I was born and raised, Ioannina, Greece. I finally decided to work the figure as a bright negative, echoing the sunlit atmosphere of the world that she leaves behind. With “Forgotten” I tried to convey the emotional state that sometimes an immigrant initially undergoes: To remember, as in a dream, a birthplace that fades away to oblivion, and to experience at the same time the feeling of being pushed aside and eventually forgotten by the birthplace and its people.
Mr. Tobia has made his Sicilian heritage part of his subject matter. Over the years he has traveled extensively in Sicily to document the festivals, architecture, and landscape of the island. They stand as single images and feature in photographic books.
Ms. Vogel is one of six photographers I found in the D.C. area who have done work documenting immigration. I had resorted to a search of the Internet because I live a hundred miles from D.C. and am unfamiliar with Washington’s photographic community. Ms. Vogel stood out. She is a photojournalist, active with non-profits, widely traveled, and a professional with a masters degree from Georgetown University. She has received an award from that university’s Center for Social Impact Communications. Recent work of hers focused on orphaned children in Lesotho.
Ellen Verdon Winkler
Ms. Winkler came to the Washington area to pursue a graduate degree at George Washington University, where she focused on Graphic Design. She was Art Director of The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Opinion and Arts weekly magazine, The Chronicle Review. She is a member of the Los Angeles Printmaking Society. She has recently been exploring drypoint, copper engraving and etching. Her etchings particularly reflect recent drawings which are explorations of seen and unseen places.
Mr. Winkler has worked as a full-time illustrator and printmaker, and as a part-time instructor in the Smithsonian Associates Program of the Smithsonian Institution. He was also a scientific illustrator at the National Science Resources Center, Smithsonian Institution/National Academy of Sciences and is the recipient of the NSRC Distinguished Service Award, in the first year that those awards were made. His works are in the permanent collections of Georgetown University, the National Museum of American History, the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress and the Corcoran Gallery of Art.
Lisa Ferraro Wood
I am motivated by the idea of democratizing art through screenprinting – everyday art for everyday people. For this limited edition screen print – American Dream 1940s – I was inspired by my mother’s parents who were part of the 4 million Italians who immigrated to the United States between 1880 and 1924. The children of these immigrants were the everyday people who started to live the American Dream post World War II. Arches paper, 100% acid-free archival.