The news of today reported by the journalists of tomorrow

The Beacon

The news of today reported by the journalists of tomorrow

The Beacon

The news of today reported by the journalists of tomorrow

The Beacon

Sordoni art exhibit offers indigenous perspective

A new exhibition titled “Our People, Our Land, Our Images” comes to the Sordoni Art Gallery of Wilkes University.

The exhibit opened on April 9 and runs through May 19 before taking a summer hiatus and re-opening on June 4. It is full of 51 photographs taken by three generations of indigenous photographers. These photographers come from North America, South America, New Zealand and the Middle East.

“They’re newly discovered 19th-century trailblazers, more well-established contemporary practitioners, and emerging photographers who are kind of just starting out,” Brittany Kramer Debalko, the assistant director of the Sordoni Art Gallery, said.

Each artist has a total of two works in the exhibit with the exception of one photographer who has one. Beside each set of photographs is an artist statement that explains the perspective of the photographer and what he or she is conveying in the photographs.

“It’s a documentation of indigenous people by indigenous people,” Debalko said. “There’s a lot of examples of photographs of these indigenous people by outsiders, but this is sort of these people looking at themselves. That’s what makes this exhibition a little different.”

Something else that makes this exhibition different is that it’s a travelling exhibit. It was curated by a guest curator named Veronica Passalacqua from the C. N. Gorman Museum at the University of California.

“She put this whole exhibition together and then it’s being travelled by a service called ExhibitsUSA, which is part of the Mid-America Arts Alliance,” Debalko said. “When institutions create these large exhibitions, sometimes they’ll travel them so that the work can be seen by more people all over the country.”

Through ExhibitsUSA, the Mid-America Arts Alliance sends more than 25 exhibits on tour each year to more than 100 communities. It is the oldest nonprofit regional arts organization in America.

Before reaching the Sordoni Art Gallery, “Our People, Our Land, Our Images” came from Texas and once it officially closes on Aug. 11 it will be returning to ExhibitsUSA to be put away for storage.

“It’s nice that it’s not a once and done thing and a lot of people have the opportunity to see it all over the country,” Debalko said.

Sophomore student Thalia Garzon said she enjoyed the exhibit’s stop at Wilkes.

“It’s really interesting to see the different photographs,” she said. “It gives viewers a taste of the different cultures and lifestyles.”

The Sordoni Art Gallery is on the first floor of the Stark Learning Center and is open Tuesday – Sunday from 12 – 4:30 pm.

“We always encourage students to come and professors to bring their classes,” Debalko said. “Everyone’s welcome.”