If a picture truly is worth a thousand words, a Connecticut photographer is hoping a new public art display will help develop a deeper dialogue when it comes to immigration.
The photos have been up for a couple of weeks on the New Haven green and are getting quite a few looks, but the official launch is on Friday night.
The exhibit is titled ‘We Are...A Nation of Immigrants.’
The photographer behind these pictures says it’s a story about understanding and equality.
“You see these smiling faces, having no idea the hardship they’ve been through,” said Joe Standart, the photographer.
Fifty photos, each face with a different story.
“If we listened they have so much to teach us, to learn about democracy, to learn about their fight for freedom, to escape tyranny,” said Standart.
Standart, the artist and photographer, calls the display on the New Haven green, his most ambitious project yet.
Spotlighting the diversity of the Elm City, each portrait is of a recent refugee or immigrant.
It’s not just the green, there are large banners attached to nearby churches, others on the library, and the largest one, hanging from New Haven’s iconic Pirelli Building along I-95.
“I’m an artist too and it shows people as individuals, how you should respect their preciousness, look at them, they look so wonderful,” said Charles Tullis of New Haven.
On each picture frame is a QR code in which visitors can listen and learn about each person’s journey to America.
Calton Gentles, who came to the US from Jamaica in 1989, thinks the project is great.
“I think it is wonderful, that with all that is going, a display that shows a lot of people come here to make America and make America what it is,” said Gentles.
It’s that awareness that Standart is hoping those on the green will see.
“There’s so many stories behind this so not only we want to celebrate and congratulate them for their perseverance and their courage, but we also can learn from them. I think we take our democracy and our freedom’s for granted,” said Standart.
The exhibition will be on display at the green through August 15.
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