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Cuban Artist Focuses on Refugees in Exhibit at Otterbein University

May 26, 2016
Otterbein University

Westerville, OH — Cuban artist Juan Si González worked with Otterbein students, faculty and staff during spring semester on a collaborative art installation utilizing donations of clothes, coats, shoes and canned/non-perishable food that will be donated to central Ohio refugee services when the project is finished.

The resulting exhibit, Cartographies: Reconstructing human displacement, will be on display now through Aug. 19 at Fisher Gallery in Roush Hall, 27 S. Grove St. Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-9 p.m. daily. Closed on holidays. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

In his artist statement, González wrote, “I’m trying to break down generalized notions of immigration/migration as a foreign experience. I want to focus in on the individual motivations and circumstances that drive people to move from one place to another, the forces that push us forward and those that hold us back. Physical displacement implies a complex, and often painful, process of insertion and adaptation in a new social context. It implies loss and disintegration as well as incorporation and integration into another reality.”

This exhibit is part of Otterbein University and the Arts: Opening Doors to the World, a multi-year focus on the arts in three non-Western regions: Latin America (2015-16), Asia (2016-17), and Africa (2017-18). Chile and Cuba were the gateway countries explored in programs in 2015-16. Fall semester 2016 will feature gateway countries India and Thailand. Fall programming will be announced soon.

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