Immigration: A topic that is now — more than ever — being talked about widely and debated over mass media. More recently, there have been policy changes, ideological shifts and a wide politicizing of topic. Many have been affected by the changing thoughts regarding immigration, and a wide array of artists have responded and reflected on these issues through their art.
Immigrant Artists and the American West is a beautiful conglomeration of various paintings and other works that visually represent the wide range of experiences immigrants and their descendants have in the U.S. Although not all American West cultures are represented in the exhibit, there are pieces from artists hailing from China, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico and Russia, among others.
The American West has been home to immigrants since Europeans explored the region. During the 19th century, the West was a region of interest for people emigrating from all parts of the world. They left their countries and pursued better opportunities, bringing with them cultural and ideological narratives that contributed to our country’s development.
There is no common immigrant story present in the history of the U.S. Immigrant Artists and the American West provides museum goers with insight into personal and political issues surrounding various immigrant groups. These art pieces reflect the ideas, values, places and people that hold great value in immigrants’ and their descendants’ lives. They also portray both the positive and negative experiences immigrants have had, both historically and in present times.
The Tacoma Art Museum is open Tuesday–Sunday from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. UW Tacoma students receive free admission to the museum with student ID. Non-UWT students looking to receive free admission should note all exhibits are free on the third Thursday of every month from 5–8 p.m. Immigrant Artists and the American West will be on display from Feb. 3 to June 2020.