Then They Came for Me: Incarceration of Japanese Americans During WWII and the Demise of Civil Liberties February 18 – May 29, 2022
This exhibit examines the terrifying period in U.S. history when the government scapegoated and imprisoned thousands of people of Japanese ancestry. It tells the story of the forced removal of 120,000 Japanese American citizens and legal residents from their homes during World War II without due process or other constitutional protections to which they were entitled. The accounts in this multimedia exhibition illustrate the impact this fear-based rebuke had on those who experienced it firsthand and the lasting repercussions on the generations that followed.
Featuring imagery by noted American photographers Dorothea Lange and Ansel Adams, alongside works by incarcerated Japanese American artist Toyo Miyatake and artifacts from the Chicago-based Japanese American Committee collection, this exhibition examines the history of emigration from Japan, the responses of the American people and government to it, and traces the lives of Japanese Americans after the War as they struggled to reestablish their shattered lives. This narrative reflects distressing parallels to the discrimination, intolerance and governmental policies surrounding the historical and current immigration and refugee crisis in America and around the world.
Then They Came for Me was originated in Chicago by the Alphawood Foundation with the support and cooperation of the Japanese American Service Committee of Chicago.
Beyond Boarders: The Art of Siona Benjamin June 16 – September 25, 2022
Siona Benjamin is a painter originally from Bombay, now living in the US. Her work reflects her background of being raised Jewish in a predominantly Hindu and Muslim India. In her paintings and installations she combines the imagery of her past with the role she plays in America today. She creates cross cultural and transcultural art imbued with perspectives bridging the traditional and the modern to spark discourse across cultures. her work has been exhibited in the US, Canada, Europe, Israel, India, and Asia – including works from the second Fulbright Fellowship she was awarded for a project entitled: ‘Motherland to Fatherland: Indian Transcultural Jews in Israel’. Featuring a selection of work from several of Siona’s series, this uniquely customized exhibit will underscore questions raised about what and where is “home”, while evoking issues of identity, immigration and the role of art in social change. Through these themes the grouping will delve into the personal feelings of an outsider looking in and navigating notions of inclusion and exclusion.