'The Bay State: A Multicultural Landscape - Photographs Of New Americans' Exhibit Now On Display At Boston's Moakley U.S. Courthouse And New Bedford Art Museum/ArtWorks!
Inspirational portraits by nationally known professional photographer Mark Chester create a visual archive celebrating the broad diversity of Massachusetts' newest citizens, who hail from more than 180 countries
January 18, 2016, Boston and New Bedford, MA - The Bay State: A Multicultural Landscape - Photographs Of New Americans is on display until March 31 at theJohn Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in Boston and until March 20 at the New Bedford Art Museum/ArtWorks!
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These exhibits of inspirational portraits, by nationally known photographer Mark Chester, offer a moving display of more than 300 newly naturalized U.S. citizens, all of whom are residents of the Commonwealth. Mark Chester will give a talk about his project on Thursday, February 11 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the New Bedford Art Museum/Artworks! Heritage Gallery.
A featured photo subject in the Boston exhibit of A Multicultural Landscape is Judge Rya Zobel of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, who was born in 1931 in Zwickau, Germany and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1949. "More than a century ago, Alexis de Tocqueville, the French historian, philosopher and astute observer of America, commented on [a] unique feature of our government," Judge Zobel observed during an oath-of-citizenship ceremony during 2013 in Boston's Faneuil Hall. "He wrote: '[T]he principle of sovereignty of the people which is always to be found more or less at the bottom of all human institutions usually remains buried there. But in America the sovereignty of the people is neither hidden nor sterile as with some other nations. Mores recognize it and the laws proclaim it. It spreads freedom and attains unimpeded its ultimate consequences'."
Denis Tetreault (shown, right), who was born in Canada and resides in Acushnet, is a featured photo subject in the New Bedford exhibit of A Multicultural Landscape. In Denis' words, "When I reflect back and look at where I am in my life, what I have accomplished, the wonderful and loving family that I have, I appreciate what my parents did for me by bringing me and my brothers to this great country. I realize today the courage, love of family and determination that they had to make life better for their children. Merci, Maman et Papa."
Click here to learn more about The Bay State: A Multicultural Experience -Photographs Of New Americans.
Click here to view and download a sampling of high-resolution images from this remarkable exhibit.
Mark Chester's powerful photographs create a visual archive that celebrates the broad diversity of Massachusettscitizens, who hail from more than 180 of the 196 countries around the globe. The photographs of these New Americans enrich the viewer by sharing the vast cultural resources and rich ethnic heritage of the Bay State's 351 towns and cities.
"My grandparents and father were born in Belarus, Russia. I am the son of an immigrant," Chester states. His curiosity and desire to photograph this community of residents led to the creation of the non-profit Cultural Diversity in Massachusetts Project, endorsed by the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition.
MIRA Executive Director Eva Millona sees a dual purpose in this powerful exhibit, stating, "These photographs of citizens of various ethnic heritage will not only offer an insightful and educational overview to all other citizens of the Bay State,but will also bring attention in promoting and enhancing immigrants' integration."
Chester's cultural-diversity collection is featured in the "Dreams of Freedom" exhibit that began on March 10, 2015 at the Prudential Center's Skywalk Observatory in Boston. Since early 2015, A Multicultural Landscape has been traveling throughout the Commonwealth, in various venues-libraries, cultural centers, and public and municipal buildings-and will continue doing so until 2018. During 2015, 13 exhibits of A Multicultural Landscape were held and during 2016 and 2017 another 17 exhibits will be held at public locations in Bay State communities.
Mark Chester has been a professional photographer since 1972. He was director of photography and staff photographer at the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, in New York City. His photographs are in the permanent collections of the museums in Baltimore, Brooklyn, Cape Cod, Corcoran, Denver, Portland (Maine), and San Francisco, among other communities across the country.
Chester created, produced and photographed the book, No In America (Taylor, 1986), a tongue-in-cheek collection of photographs of "No" signs. Previously, he photographed Charles Kuralt's book, Dateline America (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1979). His most recent book, the award-winning Twosomes (Un-Gyve Press), was released in 2011, and the touring exhibits of photographs from the book continue to travel the globe.