OLD LYME, CONN.-
The Museums current exhibition, Nothing More American: Immigration, Sanctuary, and Community An Exhibition by Matthew Leifheit (now available online through the Museums website), motivated Director of Education and Outreach David D.J. Rau and Curator Amy Kurtz Lansing to invite amateur photographers to submit examples of their own work on the theme of sanctuary for a pop-up exhibition. In February, the call for entries was sent out. Museum staff prepared to collect images online, jury the show, and then notify the artists whose photos were selected to send or bring their work to the Museum to be shared with visitors May 1 through the end of the Nothing More American exhibition, May 24. The Museums closure due to the coronavirus meant that the exhibition had to be presented online. Nearly 300 submissions from around the world offered a moving portrait of the places and people that foster in us a sense of peace, security, and inspiration. The exhibition was juried by Kurtz Lansing and photographer Matthew Leifheit. View exhibition at FloGrisPhotoContest.ArtCall.org
Although prompted by an exhibition that has been on view at the Museum since October, the emergence of COVID-19 and the necessity of staying home to stem its spread created an urgent new context for the photo contest. Artists often reflected directly on what sanctuary meant to them during a time of social distancing and uncertainty about the future. I was especially interested in the points of view offered by high school students considering their restriction to home, often with new appreciation, as well as the perspective of older photographers drawn to the majesty of nature and places associated with memories of family and friends, said Kurtz Lansing.
The online version allows the exhibition to live on indefinitely on our website. We knew the topic of sanctuary would be appealing, said Rau, and are thrilled by the number of entries. Its so great that people are craving a creative outlet and the ability to connect through art.
The Florence Griswold Museums gallery show Nothing More American: Immigration, Sanctuary, and Community - An Exhibition by Matthew Leifheit includes contemporary photographs and historic paintings. The artworks tell the story of immigrant and refugee families who have found sanctuary from deportation or persecution in local churches and in the town of Old Lyme, where they have begun new lives. https://florencegriswoldmuseum.org/nothingmoreamerican/
A 3D tour of the exhibition with English and Spanish labels available through the link as well.