SDSU Downtown Gallery Hosts World Refugee Day Event

June 3, 2019
SDSU downtown gallery

The SDSU Downtown Gallery will host an event for World Refugee Day on Thursday, June 20 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The activities will begin during regular gallery hours and go into the evening as part of the Downtown at Sundown series.

The free event will feature presentations and activities centered around stories of migration and refugee communities, including interactive opportunities, poetry readings and talks from local organizations committed to helping refugees. World Refugee Day is held every year on June 20 to commemorate the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees. This is the first year that the gallery has done an event centered around the observance.

“Our current exhibition, In Transit, is directly linked to sharing stories of the international refugee community from individuals who are living in Italy, Lebanon, Syria and Germany,” Chantel Paul, director of SDSU’s Downtown Gallery said. “The exhibition will be up during World Refugee Day, so it offered the opportunity for the SDSU Downtown Gallery to participate in a meaningful way.”

One of the activities at the event will allow visitors to tell their own migration story through objects as part of a project called “A Portrait of People in Motion” which seeks to paint a portrait of San Diego’s immigration story through objects. Created by Kerianne Quick, assistant professor at SDSU’s School of Art + Design and Artist-in-Residence at the New Americans Museum, individuals can sign up before the event for a 15-minute appointment where they will bring in an object that represents their family’s migration story. During their time slot at the event, the object will be photographed for 3D printing and individuals will share the significance behind their object and how it relates to their migration story. The story and 3D recreation of the object will then be archived at the New Americans Museum.

The event will also feature a gallery talk by photographer Nish Nalbandian, coffee served by City Heights Coffee House, and a letter reading by Detainee Allies where attendees can write their own letter to asylum-seekers currently being held at the Otay Mesa Detention Center in an activity led by SDSU Library’s Special Collections and University Archives. Co-founders Kate Swanson, associate professor for SDSU’s Department of Geography and Jennifer Gonzalez, legal communicator with Torchlight Legal will be present to talk with visitors about the local organization.

“Our hope with this event is that it will be an opportunity for people to connect on a human level around storytelling and individual experience, opening the door for empathy and perhaps even activism for those looking for that outlet,” Paul said.

For more information, visit the School of Art and Design website or contact Chantel Paul, Downtown Gallery Director at [email protected].

Schedule of Activities:

1:00 – 7:00 p.m. (by appointment)

A Portrait of People in Motion: Participatory project recording the objects and stories of migration by Kerianne Quick, assistant professor for SDSU’s School of Art + Design and Artist-in-Residence at the New Americans Museum.

How to participate:

1. Make an appointment (appointments are 15 minutes each) here.

2. Bring your object to the SDSU Downtown Gallery at 725 W Broadway.

3. Share a story about your object and it will be photographed for 3D printing.

4. Your story will be archived along with the 3D printed recreation of your object in text or audio format at the New Americans Museum.

Learn more about A Portrait of People in Motion:

5:15 – 6:15 p.m.

Gallery Talk and Conversation with Nish Nalbandian, Editorial Photographer

Presented in partnership with Medium Photo

6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Conversation and Letter-Reading by Detainee Allies with:

Dr. Kate Swanson, Associate Professor, Department of Geography

Jennifer Gonzalez, Legal Communicator, Torchlight Legal Communications

SDSU MFA Students

The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.

Categorized As