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Fredonia art gallery presents ‘Dos Mundos: (Re)constructing Narratives’

Hijab in the Wind, pictured, is one of the items in the “Dos Mundos: (Re)Constructing Narratives” exhibit on display through Feb. 28 at the Cathy and Jesse Marion Art Gallery at the State University at Fredonia.

The Cathy and Jesse Marion Art Gallery at the State University at Fredonia will host the traveling exhibition “Dos Mundos: (Re)constructing Narratives,” organized by En Foco Inc. and curated by Juanita Lanzo and Stephanie Lindquist, through Feb. 28.

The exhibition includes 37 photographs by 12 artists of color. “Dos Mundos: (Re)Constructing Narratives” features artists that tell “stories at the fringe of public attention: hidden sanctuaries, subcultures, painful identities, far-away homes, spirituality, transcendence, broken promises, and all too easily ignored social ecologies.”

En Foco Inc. is a non-profit organization in the Bronx that primarily supports contemporary photographers of African, Asian, Latino, Native American, and Pacific Islander heritage based in the United States. Founded in 1974 and currently directed by Bill Aguado, En Foco makes their work visible to the art world, yet remains accessible to under-served communities. Through exhibitions, workshops, events, and publications, it provides professional recognition, honoraria, and assistance to photographers as they grow into different stages of their careers.

En Foco’s fellowship recipients continue the work of the 12 Puerto Rican photographers of the 1973 “Dos Mundos” exhibition by offering fresh visions of existing discriminatory mainstream cultural perspectives and policies. Evolving to contemporary circumstances and inequities exacerbated by the pandemic, they maintain their commitments to their communities and individual photographic processes. Many of them are also leaders, nurturing other artists of color across the diaspora, in the South, the Bronx, classrooms, and beyond.

Artists featured in the “Dos Mundos” traveling exhibition are:

¯ Cinthya Santos-Briones, whose work literally transports viewers to those Living in Sanctuary in churches in New York and New Mexico, sheltering them from the continued threat of deportation and separation from their families.

¯ Danny Ramon Peralta, who welcomes viewers to the Bronx’s underground Hip-Hop scene and introduces them to his collaborators at Guerrilla Grooves Radio station in “The Best Damn Rap.”

¯ Damarys Alvarez, who offers a rare glimpse of subversive youth Punks in communist Cuba.

¯ Aaron Turner, who combines his search for Black art with formal considerations of light, line, shape, and form by using diverse strategies in his film photography series “Black Alchemy.” It includes installation, digital manipulation, and drawing.

¯ Antonio Pulgarin presents viewers with visually layered family photographs that navigate the boundary between masculine constructions and queer realities.

¯ Tau Battice, who is known for his portraits from Harlem through Latin America, displays the pride and integrity of community members in his series from his home Liamuiga, the indigenous name of St. Kitts.

¯ Laylah Amatullah Barrayn, a documentary photographer, focuses viewers’ sight on Black and Muslim women confidently unveiling their spirit in her frequent travels across the world from Senegal to Brooklyn.

¯ In the intimate series Umbral, Erika Morillo exposes her sole son’s negotiation of fantasy and reality between this world and another.

¯ Daesha Dev¯n Harris submerges viewers below water following Black feet in their journey to freedom.

¯ In the face of growing social divides, Roger Richardson delicately holds together tender moments within this community in his series “Let Me So Love.”

¯ With clarity, Yu-Chen Chiu exposes a broken political system and American dream under the Trump administration.

¯ Through iconically empty space around Coney Island Housing Projects Anthony Hamboussi links together stories of urban relationships to the local environment and disparate understandings of safety in a complicated web of social ecology.

The curators are:

¯ Juanita Lanzo, a visual artist, born in Puerto Rico, currently living in East Harlem. Her curatorial projects focus on emerging artists of color, especially women and the LGBTQ community. As Director of Longwood Arts Project (2008-2018) she organized over 40 solo and group exhibitions centered on issues of gender, race, and immigration, supplemented with public programs, professional development, and advocacy/career sustainable practices for visual artists. Recently selected group exhibitions include Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos, BronxArtSpace, Wallworks, Bullet Space, in NYC. She graduated from City College of NY with an MFA in 2005 and University of Puerto Rico with a BFA in 1996.

¯ Stephanie Lindquist, an artist and recent transplant to Minneapolis to pursue her MFA at the University of Minnesota. She received her BA from Columbia University. As Director of BronxArtSpace from 2015 to 2019, she facilitated over 30 group exhibitions and initiated a new residency program and curatorial open call exclusively for Bronx residents. Her artwork has been exhibited at Google, Smack Mellon, the New York Public Library, The Allen Hospital, The New Museum, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, El Museo del Barrio, SPRING/BREAK Art Show, the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, and Memorial Union Gallery of North Dakota State University.

For more information about the exhibition at the Marion Art Gallery or to schedule a tour, contact Barbara Racker at barbara.racker@fredonia.edu or 673-4897. A free exhibition catalog is available at the gallery. Gallery hours are: Tuesday through Thursday from noon to 4 p.m., Friday and Saturday from noon to 6 p.m., Sunday from noon to 4 p.m., and by appointment. The Marion Art Gallery is located on the main level of Rockefeller Arts Center.

Funding for the Marion Art Gallery’s presentation is provided by the Cathy and Jesse Marion Endowment Fund of the Fredonia College Foundation, and the Friends of Rockefeller Arts Center.

SUNY Fredonia is the second venue in the SUNY tour of “Dos Mundos.” The first venue was the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz. SUNY Binghamton Museum of Art will present the exhibition between April 8 and May 15. Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery at SUNY Stony Brook will display the photographs from July 22 through Oct.16.

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