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Lecture Series and Art Exhibition Explore Mexican Migration to the U.S.

February 24, 2006

Public Opening Set for Feb. 27 in Kolligian Library

MERCED, CA— The Mexican migrant experience
is the theme of a new art exhibit, “Miracles on the Border: Folk
Paintings of Mexican Migrants to the U.S.,” opening at UC Merced on
Monday, Feb. 27 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., which runs through April 24.

The images and texts found in this exhibit come from retablos,
religious folk art, of Mexican migrants who have endured the
troubles and difficulties of crossing the border in search of
employment in the United States. They capture the physical
experience, but also its cultural, emotional and religious
dimensions. Retablos emerged as a genre in Mexico at the beginning
of the seventeenth century as a fusion of European and Amerindian
traditions. Today they are a thriving popular art form that has
influenced some of Mexico’s leading artists.

This exhibit is part of lecture series taking place at UC Merced
throughout the spring. Kitty Calavita, a Professor of Criminology,
Law and Society at the University of California, Irvine, will
launch the series on March 10 with a presentation on guest worker
programs, to be followed by UCLA Professor Abel Valenzuela who will
talk about day laborers on March 20. On April 13, Pia Orrenius,
senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and former
member of the Council of Economic Advisers in the Executive Office
of the President will talk about the potential consequences of 9/11
on job prospects for Hispanic immigrants. Additional sessions will
address migration patterns to and from the Central Valley and
policy issues confronting the immigrant population.

The series of lectures and the art exhibit are free and open to
the public.

Art Exhibition
What “Miracles on the Border:
Folk Paintings of Mexican Migrants to the U.S.” Through this
exhibit, the curators seek to introduce audiences to an important
genre of folk Mexican art, while presenting the perspective of
Mexican immigrants on the complex process of migration. In
addition, there will be a presentation by Jorge Durand, distinguish
Mexican scholar inducted to the National Academy of Science for his
leadership in the study of social and population movements, and a
performance by Los Danzantes de Merced.
Where Kolligian Library, UC Merced
When Opening reception is scheduled on Feb.
27 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The exhibition and reception are free and
open to the public during regular library hours through April