Sept. 19, 2012
Join us on Friday, September 28, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm for a reception celebrating the work of “El Emigrante de Hidalgo, México,” the inaugural exhibit of the Vermont Folklife Center’s new sales gallery featuring traditional and visionary art. Titled Imagines de mi Alma / Images from my Soul and curated by sculptor B Amore, El Emigrante’s carefully composed landscapes, drawings, and sculptures invite the viewer to visit magical spaces where daily cares are left behind and to experience the peace expressed by a meditative heart.
The artist who calls himself “El Emigrante de Hidalgo, México,” is a self-taught artist working in isolation in a country foreign to him, drawing on inspiration from his native Mexico, Vermont, and his inner vision. He is part of a long tradition of artists who exist out of the mainstream art world, who use found materials and their own ingenuity in creating works of art that are distinctive in their original approach.
El Emigrante was a featured artist in the Invisible Odysseys project, which was exhibited last spring in the Vermont Folklife Center’s Vision & Voice Documentary Workspace. Invisible Odysseys, coordinated by B. Amore and implemented in conjunction with Susannah McCandless and Ethan Mitchell, brought art materials to Mexican workers on dairy farms in Addison and Franklin counties.
Other than offering materials and encouragement, no specific direction was given to the artist-workers who participated in the project. Rather, each artist was invited to use the materials to create a diorama that represented some aspect of their journey and experience. Prior to participating in this project, El Emigrante had never engaged in an artistic practice.
Additional programs related to this exhibit include: A screening of the prize-winning documentary “Los Que Se Quedan” / “Those who Stay Behind” on October 18; a Day of the Dead celebration hosted by Juntos of Middlebury College and the Addison County Farm Worker Coalition on November 3; and a book signing with artists from the Invisible Odysseys project on December 13.