“An accent marks the lag between two cultures, two languages, the space where you let go of one identity, invent another, and end up being more than one person, though never quite two.”
– André Aciman,
Letters of Transit: Reflections on Exile, Identity, Language and Loss
The Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History in Kingston is presenting “Immigrant Gifts to America,” a monthlong art exhibition at the Arts Society of Kingston (ASK) accompanied by a series of related presentations at ASK celebrating immigrant contributions to American life.
The art exhibit focuses on work by “Outsider artist” Joseph Garlock (1884-1980) along with paintings and sculpture by contemporary immigrant artist members of ASK, including José Acosta (Cuba), Gülnar Babayeva (Azerbaijan), María Elena Ferrer (Venezuela and Spain), Franz Heigemeir (Germany), Philip Monteleoni (Italy), Naoko Oshima (Japan), Vindora Wixom (Romania/Germany), Manizhe Zahedi (Iran) and Hongnian Zhang (China). The exhibit opens with a gala reception on Saturday, May 7 from 5 to 9 p.m., coinciding with other Kingston First Saturday gallery opening receptions. The exhibit remains on view through Saturday, May 28. Works will be available for viewing and purchase in the ASK galleries Tuesdays through Saturdays from 1 to 6 p.m. and during special events.
A screening of the documentary Harvest of Empire, exploring US actions in Latin America believed to have contributed to today’s immigration crisis, will be shown on Thursday, May 12 from 7 to 10 p.m.
A presentation about painter and sculptor Joseph Garlock will be held on Sunday, May 15 from 3 to 4 p.m. by Woodstock gallerist James Cox.
The film Entre Nos (Between Us) will be screened at ASK on Thursday, May 19 from 7 to 10 p.m. The true drama relates the story of a new immigrant Colombian mother’s quest to provide for her two children in Queens after her husband abandons them. A discussion will follow the film.
“Migratory mourning” will be the topic of a discussion with Maria Elena Ferrer on Sunday, May 22 from 1 to 4 p.m. “In the Presence of the Absent” will explore the pervasive-but-little-spoken-of suffering among immigrants.
A screening of the film Brooklyn will take place on Thursday, May 26 from 7 to 10 p.m. The movie tells the story of a young Irishwoman who immigrated to 1950s Brooklyn, lured by the promise of America. A discussion will follow the film.
Storytelling by local immigrant artists coached by professional storyteller Lorraine Hartin-Gelardi will be the focus of “New World, New Voices,” on Sunday, May 29 from 3 to 5 p.m.
The art exhibition and all events are free of charge to attend and open to all.
Arts Society of Kingston (ASK), 97 Broadway, Kingston; (845)338-0333, www.askforarts.org.