UNION, N.J. – In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, the Human Rights Institute at Kean University will host an opening reception with the artists of its newest allery xhibition, We Are You Project: An Exhibition on Social Justice & Immigration, on Tues., Sept. 15, at 6 p.m. in Union, N.J.
The exhibit, which will remain on display through Jan. 2016, is part of a series of campus events highlighting the issues of social justice and immigration. The opening reception and all related events are free and open to the community.
We Are You Project International is a nonprofit contemporary Latino art initiative that combines visual art, poetry, performance art, film and lectures to explore the identity and lived experiences of Latinos locally, nationally and internationally.
“The We Are You Project exhibition and related events utilize art in its various forms to convey the human struggle and triumph of the Hispanic immigrant community while celebrating its rich heritage,” said Elizabeth Turchi Esq., director of the Human Rights Institute. “In line with the goals of Kean’s Human Rights Institute, theWe Are You Project is a call for embracing diversity and ending prejudice.”
The opening reception will feature a performance by instrumentalist and educator Hiram Colon, composer of the “We Are You” theme song, and singer/songwriter Sophia Angelica, who was the voice of the white rabbit in “Dora the Explorer” (2000) and is taking classes this semester at Kean as part of her studies at the Union County Academy for Performing Arts.
Among the featured visual artists of the We Are You Project exhibition are four members of the Kean University community: alumnus Nelson Álvarez ’08, adjunct professors of fine arts Josephine Barreiro and Alvin E. Quiñones, and graphic designer Ricardo Fonseca. These artists join the ranks of such world-renowned artists as Raphael Montañez Ortíz, founder of the Museo del Barrio; fine artist, poet and filmmaker Duda Penteado; pop-artist Mel Ramos; and painter Hugo Xavier Bastidas. All 35 of the We Are You Project artists uniquely depict social, cultural, political and economic conditions confronting Ibero-Americans in this comprehensive, coast-to-coast artistic overview designed to increase awareness and inspire actions that improve the human condition.
We Are You Project International identifies five primary themes addressed in this exhibition: Latino immigration, the “Latinization” of America, anti-Latino backlash, the rise of Pan-Latino transculturalism and the investigation of diverse Latino identities emerging from the rising population of Latinos in the United States. These themes are uniquely explored in the paintings, prints and multi-media works of the contemporary Hispanic artists whose backgrounds represent more than a dozen distinct cultures, including those from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Spain and Portugal.
In an effort to further engage the community in dialogues and actions that promote the human rights of all individuals, Kean University will also present a series of distinct and interconnected We Are You Project events throughout the next few months, including a poetry reading (Oct. 8), guest lecture and discussion (Oct. 28) and film screening (Nov. 9).
For a full list of We Are You Project artists, news and events, visit www.kean.edu/we-are-you, and for informationabout the Human Rights Institute at Kean University, contact Elizabeth Turchi Esq., HRI director, email@example.com or (908) 737-4670.