Manchester Arts Commission announces May/June in the continuing Art on the Wall @ City Hall series: "Cultural Diversity: The Art of Immigrants in the New Manchester"

The arts have brought seemingly disparate entities together since the first visual artifact was made. Presently our lives are barraged with so many visual images that we may become desensitized to the power of our visual world as a universal language and its profound ability to bring people together. This exhibition reassures us that the visual arts have not only sustained their “staying power,” but continue provide new and innovative possibilities for communities willing to access all they have to offer.

This exhibit highlights a wide array of ethnic & cultural representations. Organizations such as BRING IT! ( Bringing Refugees, Immigrants and Neighbors Gently Into Tomorrow),  and the Currier Museum of Art's Community Outreach Program will showcase the work of students and other participants working in a variety of media including drawing, painting, weaving and fiber art. Cheryl Holbert of the Currier Art Center also helps the MAC to bring forward a whole cloth quilt. It is the work of resettled Burundian woman and Rubia's Sewing with Confidence Program.

Renown New Hampshire photographer Gary Samson will exhibit examples of his award winning photo-essays depicting immigrants from Mexico/Guatemalaand. Another of New Hampshire's finest photographers, Mary-Catherine Jones will  exhibi t her  photo's highlighting Bosnia/Bhutan refugee populations and their settlement in Manchester. 

Other exhibiting artists include Leonardo Rodrigues of Cuba, winner of the MAA's best of show; NHIA's Gunar Rowe ceramic sculptor of Mexican decent, Nzie Tshabangu, Zimbabwe; Peter Steckowych, Ukraine; Peg Lipin, descendant of French immigrants; City Hall's own Meena Gyawali, Nepal; and a selection from Central High School's ELL program, the ultimate melting pot, which caters to a population that at last count spanned 5 continents and 63 native languages. The International Institute of New England will spotlight photo's of the diverse group of clients that they service on their journeys to acclimate here from their Manchester offices.

These visual creations represent a community’s willingness to establish a foundation for cultural understanding and validation of the individual. Moreover, they act as a catalyst, heightening our level of cultural sensitivity, as well as our understanding of humanity.

The exhibit opens Monday, May  2. An artist's reception, open to the public, will be held in the exhibiting space at City Hall from 5pm-8pm. Admission is free & light refreshments will be served. The exhibit is in both East & West Wing Galleries at Manchester City Hall, 1 City Hall Plaza, and will run through the end of June. Check with City Hall for hours of operation.