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Ohio Wesleyan University to Use Art to Study Immigration
Ross Art Museum to Host Exhibition of Photographs Examining Mexican Migration

February 15, 2011

Photo courtesy of the Lannan Foundation
Photographers Michael Berman and Julián Cardona will display large-scale images depicting the landscapes and lives impacted by Mexican migration during ‘The History of the Future’ exhibit on display from March 1 through April 6 at the Ross Art Museum. Both men will be on campus March 24 to participate in an immigration-themed panel discussion. An example of Berman’s landscape photography is above and Cardona’s people-focused photography is below.
Photo courtesy of the Lannan Foundation
DELAWARE, OH – Ohio Wesleyan University will examine Mexican migration with a large-scale photography exhibit that fills the Richard M. Ross Art Museum with stark and poignant images of the landscape and lives affected by immigration.

“The History of the Future/La Historia del Futuro” will be on display at the museum, 60 S. Sandusky St., from March 1 through April 6. The exhibit features 50 black-and-white photographs by art-photographer Michael Berman and photojournalist Julián Cardona.

Both men will be on campus March 24 to participate in an immigration-themed panel discussion at 7 p.m. in Room 312 of the R.W. Corns Building, 78 S. Sandusky St. An artists’ reception will follow at the museum.

“This is an important exhibit and a prime example of how we can integrate art into the university curriculum,” said museum director Justin Kronewetter, M.F.A. “It also is a visually stunning collection of photographs that speaks to the heart of the immigration issues facing the United States and Mexico.”

Berman holds a master of fine arts degree in photography from Arizona State University. He was born in New York City, but now lives in southwestern New Mexico. His photographs deal with issues that impact the land, such as mining, grazing, and population growth.

“Berman’s photographs are remindful of the large-format images created by Ansel Adams,” Kronewetter said. “They are technically brilliant and beautiful photographs of the harsh landscape through which immigrants must travel in search of a better life. They are rich with layers of meaning.”

Cardona is a self-taught photographer born in Zacateca, Mexico, and now living in the border town of Juárez. His images capture both the heartache and hope of families affected by the city’s rampant poverty and crime, and his work has been published in the newspapers El Fronterizo and El Dario de Juárez.

In his own words, Cardona states: “Juárez unmasks our failed ideas of state, society, war and justice. Most Juárez residents gain nothing from the unsustainable World Class manufacturing that dominates the city’s legitimate economy. And people with nothing left to lose make an easy switch to the infinitely profitable—and deadly—economy of World Class crime. … Juárez blows like cold wind through the windows of our souls and demands our attention. We embrace its images as if they could fill our own empty spaces, but we cannot hold on. We do not discover Juárez: Juárez discovers us.”

“The History of the Future/La Historia del Futuro” exhibit is sponsored by the nonprofit Lannan Foundation and curated by Nancy Sutor of Santa Fe, who is expected to be part of the March 24 panel discussion.

The Ross Art Museum is displaying the exhibit and hosting the discussion in partnership with the International Studies Program, Sagan National Colloquium, and from the William H. Eells National Colloquium Exhibition Fund. Each year, the Colloquium spotlights an issue of international importance and encourages ideas and actions to improve the global situation. This year’s theme is “Global Opportunities for Global Citizens.”

The Richard M. Ross Art Museum is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The museum is fully handicap-accessible and admission is always free. For more information, call (740) 368-3606.

Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier small, private universities, with more than 90 undergraduate majors, sequences, and courses of study, and 23 Division III varsity sports. Located in Delaware, Ohio, just minutes north of Ohio’s capital and largest city, Columbus, the university combines a globally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities that translate classroom theory into real-world practice. OWU’s close-knit community of 1,850 students represents 45 states and 52 countries. Ohio Wesleyan earned a 2009 Presidential Award for Excellence in General Community Service, is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” and is included on the “best colleges” lists of U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Learn more at www.owu.edu.