POUGHKEEPSIE, NY—Vassar College will host an exhibition of paintings, murals, and statues depicting the struggle of farm and factory workers created by members of the Youth Arts Group of the Rural and Migrant Ministry in the Aula of Ely Hall. There will be an opening reception for the exhibition on Tuesday, November 16 at 5:00pm, followed by a presentation by members of the Youth Arts Group at 7:00pm. The exhibition will also be open for the public to view on Sunday, November 21, from 12:00 to 4:00pm. Both the exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.
The Youth Arts Group (YAG) of the Rural and Migrant Ministry is a culturally diverse group of high school age youth from the Hudson Valley who have come together with the determination to create change in their lives and communities. One medium they use to manifest change is art. Themes within their artwork include breaking the barriers (racial, class, gender, etc.) that divide society, examining negative influences on youth, and sharing the voices of farmworkers and factory workers.
Two of the works to be shown in this exhibit, an 8’ x 10’ mural entitled Justice for Factory Workers, and a sculpture, Angel of Hope, were created this summer in collaboration with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union 342 of Sullivan County, New York. After YAG members visited the union this past spring, they were inspired to create works that would portray the poor working conditions and the struggles of factory workers. Angel of Hope is a 3-D mixed-media “angel of protection” that portrays workers’ hopes and dreams using meaningful personal objects as well as written stories of what migrant workers left behind and what they face here.
According to their mission statement, the Poughkeepsie-based Rural and Migrant Ministry Inc. is an interfaith organization that “works for the creation of a just rural New York State through: nurturing leadership, standing with the disenfranchised, especially farmworkers and rural workers, and changing unjust systems and structures.” Vassar students have a history of involvement with the RMM, including participating in fieldwork and internships.
Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations at Vassar should contact the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space and/or assistance may not be available. Directions to the Vassar campus are available at www.vassar.edu/directions.
Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.