Immigrant Memories, Via Objects, on Display

Objects of meaning to 31 immigrant artists from 25 countries are on display at City Lore Gallery on the Lower East Side. Tammy Scileppi of Times Ledger writes about the exhibit and the artists, 10 of whom are based in Queens.

Indian dancer Malini Srinivasan from Sunnyside will feature a pair of leather ankle bells from India in the exhibit, while Mexican educator, musician and dancer Paula Sanchez-Kucukozer from Bayside brought a Day of the Dead paper mache skull. Said Srinivasan:

“This is a symbol of the dance [Bharatanatyam] that me, my (late) mom and my (late) grandma all practiced. It is this object that connects the dancer with the rhythm and music,” she said. “When I practice my art, people see me as an individual practicing a beautiful dance form. But I feel like my work has so much to do with what my mother and grandmother brought with them as teachers and as people. This exhibit puts my art practice into the bigger context of my family history and this country’s history.”

Sanchez-Kucukozer, for her part, told Times Ledger that “Queens is a fantastic place to explore art and thrive.”

The exhibit is free and open for viewing Fridays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and on weekends from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. In connection with the exhibit, which closes in September, City Lore plans for May 27 “a multimedia theater piece tracing the true stories of 5 immigrant/first-generation artists from Afghanistan, China, India, Ivory Coast, and Peru, interweaving their tales of migration with performance,” as well theatre/playwriting workshops over four Saturdays in June to “dramatize and perform memories and interactions with NYC landmarks and characters.”

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