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Art show gives voice to immigrants

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  A just-opened exhibit at The Gallery at Sanctuary, a storefront gallery in West Medford, showcases the lives of immigrants in painting, photography, fabric and poetry. Titled “IamMigration” the collection includes contributions from both well-known and little-known artists, many from the Immigrant Learning Center in Malden. The exhibit is open through July 15.

  A reception is planned for Sunday, June 4, from 2-4 p.m. at The Gallery at Sanctuary, which is located at 458 High St. in West Medford. It will include art, music, poetry readings, food and refreshments featuring immigrant cultures. It is free and open to the public.

  “In Massachusetts, one of six of us is an immigrant,” said the Rev. Wendy Olapade, minister of Sanctuary UCC, which is hosting the art series. “By sharing our stories through art, we hope to create a greater appreciation for how immigrants enrich our communities.”

  Contributors include Sylvestre Telfort and Bitho Faustin, two visual artists from Haiti; Thaer Abdallah, a Palestinian artist from Iraq; and Anna Thai, an embroidery artist from Vietnam. Other artists come from China, Guatemala, Iran, Brazil, Ukraine, El Salvador and beyond.

  One of the most striking pieces is Bitho Faustin’s painting “Boat People,” which depicts in rich blues and yellows the desperate crossing by boat to Miami. Another is Thaer Abdallah’s 40×60-inch oil painting “The Nakba,” which portrays the forced migration of Palestinian people in 1948. Pictured is an exodus across the desert – a universal theme for all those having to leave their homes.

  The exhibit continues a program at The Gallery at Sanctuary of art, film and spoken word on the theme of immigration and migration. More information, including Gallery hours, is available at www.sanctuaryucc.org.Appointments for Gallery visits can be made by emailing finance@sanctuaryucc.org.

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