Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Embracing Our Differences

A few months back, a fellow artist from my church (and the husband of one of my closet friends) gave me information about an art exhibition contest. It was a theme that I felt held real resonance with how things are today, so I decided to enter. Not too long after, I received in the mail a letter indicating that my work had been one of the one's chosen for the exhibit. Today was the reception :)

My Mom only worked half a day so I could go. My friend from church was going to watch Kyle and Jubilee, but then she had to go to the hospital! I called to find out more about the reception, and realized it really wasn't something that Kyle and Jubilee would sit through. So it looked like I'd have to go alone, but who wants to do that? Then, out of the blue, my Sister in Law Candice texted me about this afternoon and getting together, and a plan was thus born!!! Thank God for Candice, she made the whole thing a wonderful experience.

Without further adieu, I present Embracing Our Differences Long Island.

The art pieces were all blown up to billboard size and were outside, a beautiful, sprawling art exhibit amidst fountains and falling Autumn leaves. It was kind of wonky weather, so the reception was held inside at the art museum, but you could walk around and look at the exhibit before the reception.

Here is where the museum put us. It was supposed to be all outdoors, but they accomodated us very well. It was interesting to be in a museum again... I got to see lots of art that is currently on display (not our exhibit) and they even had refreshments for us!

I had a blast looking around, even at the ceiling!

After we all sat down, they told us to go back outside and watch the performances by the Mahanaim ESL Study Tour Students- two groups who did outstanding dance routines! Click on the last two links to see small youtube tidbits of the dance! :)

Dance

More Dance!

There were many people who spoke once we settled back inside, each meaningful and poignant and very integral to the overall ceremony. Here are some of them:

Eleanor Kra, Chairperson, CHDHU

Balbinger Bhogal, Chair, Sikh Studies, Hofstra University

Oliver Mashaka, political refugee

Leonila Romero Gonzalez, member, Las Patronas

This one was particularly meaningful. She was from Mexico and had a translator, but explained what she did that was inspired by her grandmother. In Mexico, a train passes by every day (I think), with migrants on the train. Sometimes they've been on the train for a long time, and they have a long way to go, and often they don't have any food to see them through. So every day, this woman and her family (and often student volunteers) cook rice and rush out to the train to toss the migrants bags of cooked rice and some bread. I can't even explain the gravity of the importance of what these people do... look at the photo I took of the pictures they passed around.

Last, but not least, we were all called up. We were presented tags, ribbons, and plaques when we signed in, and were duly honored and thanked. It was, overall, a wonderful ceremony with moving speakers, and I had a wonderful afternoon with my Sister in Law. I still can't get over seeing my art billboard size, blown up there for all the world to see. My Sister in Law even overheard people speaking about all the entries that there had been, and how many people had tried to be included. I am honored and blessed!

I would love to write more, but am still excited and reeling from the amazing experience...

21 comments:

Jennifer said...

How cool is that to see your work so HUGE! I would be so excited. :) Looks like a fun day and I love the quote under your art. "Be art!"

Lorrie Esposito said...

Awesome Jen! What an honor to be recognized. So glad you were able to work out a way to be there. Thanks for sharing your special day with us :-)

The REAL EverSewSweet said...

Sounds like a lovely and exciting day.

Sheila Fisher said...

What a wonderful honor!

bananaorangeapple said...

That looks like a day you will remember.
Congratulations on being one of the artists chosen.

AnnMarie aka Vintage Junkie aka NaNa said...

That would be surreal to me to see something I made that big! What a great moment to remember for you and your children who can brag about their Mommy the rest of their lives!

Marlene said...

So wonderful, I am happy for you to have been able to be a part of that experience. Billboard size art, how cool is that.

Lee Pierce said...

What a wonderful experience! Congratulations and so happy you got to enjoy it.

NellywithWings said...

I love to see your art featured at such a meaningful event, as you are so very talented and your work touches souls. Congratulations, Jen.

David Pierri said...

Congratulations on your well deserved ribbon and art work. I must confess that I was blind to the skills you possess and was ignorant as to the true level of potential of your God given talent. I can see from your pictures and your expression that happiness is present within you. It is an honor to know you and glad we shared our lives - albeit briefly. Keep up the great work - keep doing what you love as it clearly demonstrates recognition is its own reward. Would have like to be there but you know my situation. Perhaps I'll be able to swing by and visit the exposition myself before it changes.
The picture of the woman handing water and food to the immigrants on the train remind us that not everyone is as lucky as we are. The journey some of these laborers take and the risks they expose themselves to is nothing less than amazing. For those who think they are taking jobs away from locals is preposterous. Yes, there's violence and corruption on the entire immigration path. Local officials and those that hide behind the law perpetrate as many unmoral acts as those they are supposed to be catching. It's not a pretty thing and letting the public know what they go through may help finally support comprehensive labor and immigrant laws that benefit both sides.
Congratulations again!

ZudaGay said...

Congratulations, Jen! This looks like an amazing exposition. I love the whole billboard display concept...so cool!

Pam of alwaysartistic said...

Wow.... Congratulations Jen. Beautiful artwork. The Billboards look great! Glad you had a fun time too!

pinkglitterfae said...

Jen I am so happy for you, this is truly an honour, and what a thrill to see your work blown up! So glad your sister in law could join you, and share in your joy
xoxo
betty

MYSAVIOR said...

CONGRATULATIONS, MY DEAREST JENNIFER.

YOU HAVE ARRIVED♥

♥♥♥
Sue

sammysgrammy said...

Jen - i am extremely proud of you and this wonderful honor. Those shots of your work on billboards need to be blown up big, framed and hung on the walls of your home.

JulieandMax said...

Wow - how exciting for you! It sounds like you had such a fabulous day :)
Julie

David said...

Wow, mom! It's nice that your art was recognized and displayed. I'm glad you had a great time there. It was quite a story with the rice and the train. I hope more nice things like this happen with you.

Luella Newkirk said...

Enjoyed reading about this very special honor and your day! Your blog expresses in so many different ways how much we need the knowledge about the love of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.

Mechelle said...

Congrats Jen! What an honor to have your art in this exhibit.

Recovered Fundie said...

Yea! Jennifer! That is soooo cool! Couldn't have happened to a nicer person.

Lisa

Vicky Williamson said...

How exciting for you! and it sounds like a day full of meaning.