On February 18, 2009 Convocation for an art exhibit was held at Concordia University. There, they were showing artwork by/about immigrant/refugee artists and people. Along the walls there were photographs, embroideries, paintings, and sculptures made of wood. There was so much to see and read that about the artists and the work they have done. Then after we had had time to look around and examine the pieces there was a time for what artists were present to explain their work, where they came from, and why they chose to do what they did with whatever medium they had chosen. The stories they told were of their childhood and where they and/or their family came from. Each one of them had their own story to tell but they all had the same driving force of coming from another country and making their way in a brand new country.
The stories told by the artists are very much reflected in their work. Most of them say that the pieces mean so much to them on a personal level that no one can really understand exactly what they are trying to tell everyone. This is something we talked about last semester in the art portion. Art is first and foremost for the creator of said product. Also during this portion of class we talked about how art can be in almost any medium. There were certainly many different types of art and the exhibit. Also some of the stories we heard from the artists are very similar to the books we have been reading and the speakers we have been listening to. People adjusting from their own culture to one they are very unfamiliar with. Kalia Yang talks about this in The Latehomecomer. Also Mary Pipher shares many stories of people having to assimilate into the American culture. Mr. Yang and Ms. Thao also spoke about coming to America not really knowing what to expect. But they as well had stories about how they grew into our culture and learned the ways it worked while still keeping their old selves in there also.
I have always loved art in pretty much any form or medium. I am a musician and a writer so my appreciation for art is not that difficult to know where it comes from. Seeing this works of art has been amazing. It has really inspired me to learn more about other cultures in the United States. There is so much I don't know about people of other nations. With going in to education I will have to deal with children from different countries more and more as this country moves on. They will have other beliefs and traditions than me and I need to know of these to be able to teach to this kids. It will also benefit me to know about their culture so I can explain certain aspects of American culture that may be confusing or seem wrong. There is so much out there to know and so little ambition to learn it. I want to be the one who goes out and actually understands other cultures instead of being ignorant of them.