Notre Dame College Creates Panel for Comments with Joint Art Exhibit on Immigration

At Notre Dame College the writing will be on the wall, literally, with a photojournalistic display documenting the lives of Mexican immigrants.

The College is adding an interactive art wall designed to foster campus and community discourse on immigration to an exhibition of photographs by artist Karla Guajardo Ro. Ro documents in black and white images the lives of Mexicans who immigrated to Italy permanently in the late 20th century.

The exhibit, “Another Italy: Other Realities,” begins with a reception from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, March 23, in the College’s Falcons’ Nest student center and continues through Wednesday, April 12. The display and reception are free and open to the public.

As complement to Ro’s display of 11- by 16-inch framed images in the Falcons’ Nest gallery, a large curved wall in the student center that has been coated with a special veneer that will allow participants to write and draw directly on the partition with dry-erase markers. The wall is intended for prose, poetry and visual responses to the concept of immigration.

Each of the images in Ro’s exhibition is accompanied by a one- or two-paragraph summary describing the Mexican expatriates’ journeys and their lives in their adopted country. The Mexicans immigrated to Italy for a variety of reasons. Some were students and remained by choice when they finished their university studies. Some sought a better work experience or were in marriage contracts.

The underlying theme is to add to the dialogue or definition of “immigrant” in the form of written or visual response on the general topic, according to Rachel Morris, associate professor of fine arts at Notre Dame and Sr. Katherine Feely, SND, director of John Carroll University’s Center for Service & Social Action.

Notre Dame, led by its art students and faculty, is co-sponsoring the exhibition with John Carroll’s Italian studies department.

Ro’s artwork started with her studies of indigenous photography at the Totonaca community of Huehuetla, located at the Sierra Norte de Puebla, a mountainous region in the northern third of the state of Puebla, Mexico. Her research earned her two awards and several exhibitions in the city of Puebla and the publication of an article in the Yearbook of Communication Research XII CONEICC 2005.

March 2017


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For almost a century, Notre Dame College has educated a diverse population in the liberal arts for personal, professional and global responsibility. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College has grown strategically to keep pace with the rapidly changing needs of students and the dramatic changes in higher education. But it has never lost sight of its emphasis on teaching students not only how to make a good living but also how to live a good life.

Today, the College offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 disciplines plus a variety of master's degrees, certification programs and continuing and professional development programs for adult learners on campus and online. Notre Dame College offers NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletic programs for men and women and is located in a picturesque residential neighborhood just 25 minutes from the heart of Cleveland. Hallmarks of the Notre Dame experience include stimulating academics, personalized attention of dedicated faculty and staff, and small class sizes.

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