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Through July 12: “When Home Won’t Let You Stay” refugee accounts featured in Gordon Parks Gallery exhibit

Posted April 9, 2018

Through July 12: “When Home Won’t Let You Stay” refugee accounts featured in Gordon Parks Gallery exhibit



Photographic portraits are featured in “When Home Won’t Let You Stay,” a solo exhibition by Winona artist James A. Bowey presented at Metropolitan State University Gordon Parks Gallery.

In a penetrating exploration of America’s evolving attitudes toward refugees, documentary artist James A. Bowey traveled Minnesota to meet refugees, hear their stories and photograph their portraits. The photographs were taken on location in a setting of the portrait subject’s everyday life. Bowey interviewed each person and their first-person story accompanies their photograph. The people in this exhibition share poignant stories of violence and loss, as well as perseverance and hope; and their images and experiences produce a compelling human portrait of refugees in Minnesota.

James A. Bowey

James A. Bowey speaks about how he came to develop his photojournalism project “When Home Won’t Let You Stay.”

“The number of globally displaced people has risen dramatically in recent years, and is expected to continue to rise in response to ongoing conflicts, poverty, and climate change. However, fears of terrorism and economic dislocation have created social and political pressure to exclude refugees from the United States. These challenges force us to consider the basic human rights of all, and our global responsibilities to others,” Bowey says.

“In addition to the exhibition of portraits and stories, the artist will host a live community conversation to consider the plight of refugees, and the social divisions that have emerged in response to the humanitarian crisis.  This panel discussion will include a number of refugees living in the Twin Cities area. The event will take place in the Ecolab Community Room (adjacent to the gallery) from 7 to 8 p.m. on reception night,” Gallery Director Erica Rasmussen says.

The exhibit opens with a reception from 5 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, April 19. The exhibit will be on display through July 12. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday to Thursday. The gallery is located at the university’s Saint Paul Campus on the third floor of the Library and Learning Center, 645 East Seventh Street.

For more information about the exhibit, contact Erica Rasmussen, gallery director, at 651-999-5942 or e-mail her at Rasmussen was recently honored with the 2018 Minnesota Book Artist Award for her work, “The Love Affair,” a mixed-media book handcrafted from love letters sent between her maternal grandparents in the 1930s.