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

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 campus
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 24.

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