Housing, identity among the themes explored in new exhibits
A sampling of Jackie Abrams’s new work, “Precarious Shelters,” which will be on exhibit at Mitchell-Giddings Fine Arts in Brattleboro.

Housing, identity among the themes explored in new exhibits

BRATTLEBORO — Mitchell-Giddings Fine Arts, 183 Main St, will feature two concurrent exhibitions - Jackie Abrams' Precarious Shelters: Houses that Hold Us and Erika Radich's Deportees: A Tribute - starting Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, from noon to 7 p.m., with both artists present from 5 to 7 p.m.

These shows will continue through Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021.

For those unable to attend, the complete exhibit is available for safe viewing online at mitchellgiddingsfinearts.com/current-exhibits.

Deportees: A Tribute features a suite of 28 monotype collages addressing issues of social justice, equality, and human dignity. As Radich explains, “the exhibit may become 'personal' to each person experiencing the exhibit.”

Radich describes a 1948 plane that crashed in Los Gatos Canyon, Calif. while carrying 28 Mexican farmworkers who died as they were being deported to Mexico.

The migrant workers were buried in a mass grave with only a single plaque, which read “28 Mexican Citizens Who Died In An Airplane Accident Near Coalinga California On Jan. 28, 1948 R.I.P.,” according to a 2013 story in The New York Times.

The New York Times reported the accident as the death of 28 nameless 'deportees,'” Radich said. “Fundamental to who we are, what our identity is, is our name. In this exhibit, we remember who they were, and in the process, who we are.”

Abrams's Precarious Shelters: Houses that Hold Us is a continually growing project designed to help raise awareness of the extreme range of homes and shelters throughout the world, as well as in our own communities.

She said that it speaks to the connections between race, class, gender, poverty, and other issues, and asks that we recognize the need for mutual learning, support, and social change.

“My goal is to create a visual representation of several communities, crafted with a variety of materials and techniques into three-dimensional self-standing structures, that elicits an emotional response and helps raise awareness of precarious houses that exist everywhere,” Abrams said. “I hope people who visit these houses will reflect upon what they represent and be moved to act in support of others in ways that are just and honorable.”

Mitchell-Giddings Fine Arts, and artists Abrams and Radich, say they plan to donate a portion of proceeds from sales from Deportees and Precarious Shelters to local organizations that address housing and food insecurity: Project Home, Keene, N.H., a grassroots solution for asylum-seekers; Groundworks Collaborative, Brattleboro Area Affordable Housing, Windham & Windsor Housing Trust, and Foodworks.

A portion of proceeds from Abrams's sales will be donated to local organizations that address housing: Groundworks Collaborative, Brattleboro Area Affordable Housing, and Windham & Windsor Housing Trust.

For more information about the exhibits, visit mitchellgiddingsfinearts.com or call 802-251-8290.

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