Work in Progress: Folk Artists on Immigration -- Visitors to the Museum of International Folk Art (MOIFA) had a unique opportunity to actively participate in developing the new exhibit on the timely topic of immigration. Work in Progress: Folk Artists on Immigration, a participatory exhibit lab explored issues of home, immigration and belonging, in the Museum’s Mark Naylor & Dale Gunn Gallery of Conscience. The Gallery of Conscience is located in the West Gallery of the Bartlett Wing; opening in 2010 with Empowering Women: Artisan Cooperatives that Transform Communities, this space continues to engage visitors with meaningful interactive activities.
The public was invited to participate in facilitated dialogues, giving feedback and leaving their thoughts and stories in order to help shape the content and form of the exhibition. The Work in Progress space displayed handmade embroidery, carving, paintings, drawings, and beadwork about immigrant journeys made by artists from the Americas, Africa and Asia. Gallery activites included tracing your route, a world map illustrating our connections with string; along with writing and drawing activities amidst the art works by contemporary folk artists.
This exhibit lab was made possible through the support of Mark Naylor and Dale Gunn, the International Folk Art Alliance, the International Folk Art Foundation, the Museum of New Mexico Foundation’s Exhibition Development Fund, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences. Our dialogue series is part of the National Dialogues on Immigration Project of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience.