Honoring the people who work in the fields, their lived experiences and both the challenges and skill of their labor, the University Art Gallery at Sonoma State University is pleased to present the exhibition Farmworkers: Photographs, Prints, Paintings, which will be open for viewing Thursday, September 8 through Sunday, October 16, 2022.
The exhibition features work by four artists: Morrie Camhi, Erik Castro, Jay Mercado, and Christie Tirado. Their work ranges from documentation of the United Farmworkers fight for unionization in the 1970s to large-scale photographs, prints, and paintings that feature today's essential workers in the fields. The exhibitions brings our attention to that which we already know, yet we often too easily forget: farmworkers are the linchpin of our food system.
"The arts have a special power to forge connections, and to make others' experiences visible and poignant. That's the heart of this exhibition for me," said Jennifer Bethke, interim director of the Sonoma State University Art Gallery, who will be hosting the opening reception from 4-6 p.m. on Thursday, September 8.
At the core of the Farmworkers exhibition are photographs by Morrie Camhi, which are a part of the Sonoma State University Art Collection. Camhi's works document the United Farm Workers strikes and union activities of the early 1970s, telling part of the history of this powerful movement. Work by three contemporary artists accompany Camhi's photos. Local photojournalist Erik Castro is represented in the exhibition with his large-scale photographic portraits of Sonoma County grape harvesters. Jay Mercado's paintings focus on labor in the fields that must be done by hand. Christie Tirado, in her vibrant print series, taps into the traditions of Mexican printmaking to honor essential workers in the fields.
There will be a Gallery Talk with Erik Castro from noon to 1 p.m. on Thursday, September 29.
Both the opening reception and gallery talk programs are free and open to the public and the SSU campus community. Visitors driving to the SSU campus must purchase an $8 parking pass from any automated parking kiosk. Seating is limited at the Gallery Talk with Erik Castro; advance reservations cannot be accommodated.
Hours: Tuesdays - Fridays 11:00-4:00 / Weekends 12:00-4:00 Admission: Free
Location: University Art Gallery, Art Building, SSU, 1801 E. Cotati Ave, Rohnert Park.
Full details: http://artgallery.sonoma.edu