Buffalo is one of the most diverse cities in the United States, serving for more than a century as a haven for immigrants and refugees from all over the world. People fled famine, war, political unrest, religious persecution, violence, and other conditions to build new lives across oceans. Buffalo is designated a resettlement city with four agencies assisting refugees, including the International Institute of Buffalo, Journey’s End Refugee Services, Jewish Family Service of Buffalo and Erie County, and Catholic Charities. Some of the twentieth- and twenty-first-century immigrants and refugees residing in Western New York are artists whose creations have been acquired by the Burchfield Penney Art Center. A small exhibition of work by artists from around the globe celebrates their contributions to our cultural heritage. These artists and their birth places of origins are:
Niels Yde Andersen (born in Copenhagen, Denmark, 1888-1952)
Jozef Bajus (born in Kezmarok, Czechoslovakia (Slovakia), 1958)
George Campos (born in Cuba, 1952)
Viktoria M. Ciostek (born in Poland, 1980)
Craig Gerrard-François Centrié (born in Haiti, 1953)
Tanya Ganson (born in Ukraine, 1910-1993)
Ana Maria Hidalgo (born in Chile)
James K. Y. Kuo (born in Suzhou, China, 1920-1995)
Peppino Mangravite (born in Lipari, Italy, 1896-1978)
Mary A. MoncadaDean (born in Mexico, 1956)
Chunwoo Nam (born in Seoul, Korea, 1965)
Roberto Pacheco (born in Peru, 1951)
Juan Carlos Perdiguero (born in Madrid, Spain, 1963)
Endi Poskovic (born in Sarajevo, Bosnia/Herzegovina, 1969)
Alberto Rey (born in Cuba 1960)
Yoonsook Bai Ryang (born in Korea, 1946)
Lars Gustaf Sellstedt (born in Sweden, 1819-1911)
The exhibition has been co-curated by Burchfield Scholar and Head of Collections Nancy Weekly and Archivist Heather Gring. Selected interpretive labels will be written by Drew Boyle, William Scherer, and Kirsten Teeling, who are SUNY Buffalo State graduate students in Museum Studies. Their course, MST 622 Researching and Presenting Museum Collections, is taught by Nancy Weekly, who also serves as Burchfield Penney Instructor of Museum Studies, Department of History and Social Studies Education. Images of works by other immigrant and refugee artists in the collection whose work would not fit in the gallery space are included in the object listing here, but only artists featured in the exhibition are linked as artists.
Heather Gring organized a coordinated program that includes the screening of In Search of a Nation followed by a panel discussion, to be presented on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, 2017, from 2 to 5 PM.
The Anne Frank Project and the Burchfield Penney Art Center are pleased to announce a screening of In Search of a Nation, a documentary film about the Bhutanese-Nepali experience of refugees looking for a place to call a home. “This movie, Desh Khojdai Janda (In Search of a Nation), is based on a true story of Bhutanese refugees and is dedicated to all the refugees across the world. As Bhutanese, the makers of this film request viewers to ponder this genuine question: How can the nation of Bhutan claim peace and happiness when it was once one of the highest refugee-generating countries of the world?” [IMDB. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2808236/]
Following the film, a panel discussion will take place with local leaders of Buffalo’s Immigrant and Refugee community and the Artistic Director of the film. They will discuss aspects of the film and the refugee experience of coming to the United States of America. Panelists include: Parladah Gurung, Artistic Director of In Search of a Nation; Rubens Mukunzi, Publisher of Karibu News; and Lamin Tamang, Bhutanese-Nepali Community of Buffalo.