Opening reception of "The US Show"
Exhibition Dates: November 15 - December 28, 2019
Opening Reception: November 16, 4-8pm
Closing Reception: December 21, 4-8pm
The purpose of The US Show is to give a voice to immigrant artists and to make space for diversity in the gallery. Application was open to any artist living in the US who was born outside of the US. The show was juried by Alesha Colberg Martinez, Traveling Exhibitions Coordinator at Bedford Gallery at the Lesher Center for the Arts. The show contains works representing artists from over twenty different countries of origin, with a range of media and styles included.
Artists Trung Cao, Lee Tonks, Sharon Norton and Marilyn Eger gave lectures about their artistic process and subject matter at the opening reception. Another artist lecture will be given at our closing reception on December 21st, 4 -5 PM.
Accompanying nearly every piece is an artist's statement, providing insight into the artwork, and often, the artist's personal history. With so many creative expressions of what it means to be an immigrant in America, "The US show" is an exhibition you don't want to miss!
Torch of Liberty by Trung Cao
"My recent visit to the Statue of Liberty inspired this symbolic painting reflecting my profound thoughts while growing up in the United States as an immigrant. During the long human struggle for existence, freedom has been rare, and its triumphs have fallen upon just the minorities that prevailed. From the first gathering of ancient people to the modern political complexity of our time, the natural drive embedded in our genes for liberty is not always apparent. This is that painting, and my family is part of this story. Only two out of three boats that escaped Vietnam after the Vietnam War survived the journey at sea in search of freedom. After two days lost at sea and being robbed by pirates, the next obstacle we encountered was residing in an overcrowded refugee island of only one mile in diameter with 700,000 people for nearly a year. We are not unique, and this isn’t just a tale of my immigration story. Painted in oil, I wanted to convey a universal theme of mankind that regardless of when, who, or where, lighting and carrying the torch of liberty comes from the fire that burns from within all of us. The perseverance of that fire has made the United States a model for freedom and human rights around the globe, a champion of individual liberty and equality, a path towards a better life and moral individualism, and a mountain of people will come and ensure that the torch exists and stays lit."
-Artist Statment, Trung Cao
The Burger King Crown - Thu Nguyen
“I came here as an orphan and I am now living the American dream,” said Nguyen, who immigrated to the US in 1975 following the fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War. “I remembered as a child, I used to watch my uncle (paint) and (wished) to become a painter. … Thank you to America for giving me a home and (helping me) to do what I love.”
-Artist Statement, Thu Nguyen
Admiring the work of artist Cheng Gong, "The ten precepts of Buddism - no consumption of alcohol".
Statement by "The US Show" Juror, Alesha Colberg Martinez
When Blue Line Arts asked me to jury The US Show in my new community of
Roseville, California I immediately said yes. Over the past 20 years I have helped
develop international exhibitions for art organizations, both large and small, and
thus working with artists from the around the world is second nature to me.
However, an international show consisting solely of immigrant artists in my
suburb community moved, surprised, and inspired me. Often, immigrants seem to
be vilified for one reason or another, and the subject of immigration can be a
controversial. Despite this, Blue Line Arts pushed forward with their exhibition,
and rightly so as immigrants deserve to be celebrated for their accomplishments
American society was shaped and built by immigrants, and continues to be
heavily supported and influenced by them. From agriculture to tech, immigrants
impact many aspects of American society, including the visual arts. Many well-
known artists, like Mark Rothko, David Hockney, Louise Bourgeois, Willem de
Kooning, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo were immigrants who lived in the United
States, and all reinforced America’s cultural foundation by buttressing many
major U.S. museum collections. Painter, naturalist and American immigrant, John
James Audubon’s important work introduced a cacophony of bird species to the
world, and fellow immigrant artist, Albert Bierstadt’s 19 th century iconic
landscapes presented America’s beautiful, vast and undeveloped West to an
international audience abroad. Just as then, America continues to be grand and
great, attracting an array of talented people, as exemplified by the artists
featured in The US Show.
Hailing from 20 countries but now residing throughout the U.S., the artists of The
US Show work in a variety of media: from textile, to photography, to painting.
Several artists address their immigrant experiences and others have decided to
simply present beautifully rendered works. Both complicated stories and complex
techniques are on display, and I found the mix of artists and media to be gripping
and multidimensional. One can imagine the difficulties that come with trying to
find your way in a new country while still being driven to create. This sings of
American resilience and drive, and I am honored to shine a spotlight on these
I am also excited to see future dynamic exhibitions at Blue Line Arts that reflect
diverse communities, provoke meaningful dialogue, and embrace a multitude of
opinions and stories through the power of art, like The US Show. I thank Blue Line
Arts for including me in this very poignant exhibition.
Enjoy the show!
Opening reception of "The US Show"
Viewing the work "Still I Stand, Still I Love" by Rachel Oliver.
Make sure to come for our closing reception on December 21st, 4 - 8PM.
We look forward to seeing you there!