The Heart Mountain Interpretive Center at the site of a World War II Japanese-American internment camp outside of Cody, Wyoming will present a new exhibit featuring self-portraits that reveal Muslim Americans in everyday life. The exhibit is intended to counteract stereotypes and preconceived notions about Muslims in America at this time in history. Esse Quam Videri: Muslim Self-Portraits will be exhibited in the Ford Foundation Special Exhibition Area July 18 through Sept. 18, 2012.
In this self-portrait, Halona displays the pain of being a victim of discrimination in the classroom. She is currently taking on-line courses.
“This exhibit is the first in a series of exhibits at the Interpretive Center that will encourage visitors to think about prejudice, stereotyping and religious, racial and ethnic profiling,” said Stevan Leger, executive director.
“Esse Quam Videri” means “to be rather than to seem.” The exhibit includes photographs, collaged images and self-drawn portraits of and by Muslim Americans are presented with short essays to add context.
Exhibit creator Todd Drake will be on hand for a preview and reception at 6:00 pm on July 18 for Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation (HMWF) members and their guests.
Drake will also offer a photography master class workshop on July 19 at 6:00 pm.
“This workshop is designed to help photographers of all levels of ability from beginner to expert to shoot quality portraits and tell compelling stories about their subject,” Leger said.
Participants will be invited to create their own portrait and a short narrative about their own encounters with prejudice for inclusion in a museum-quality album to be displayed at the Interpretive Center in order to help prevent stereotyping and mistreatment of groups in the future.
This workshop is free for HMWF members while non-members will be charged $10. Space is limited and advanced registration is recommended. To register, call the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center at 370-754-8000 or stop by to sign up in person. Limited portfolio review and critiques with Drake are available to HMWF members by appointment only.
Todd Drake creates art that is shaped by community and is an artist in residence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Center for Global Initiatives. A painter and photographer, Drake has exhibited internationally. His paintings and photographs are in private collections worldwide. With an MFA in painting from UNC-Greensboro, Drake teaches studio art, actively exhibits and speaks on stereotyping, Islamophobia and on his collaborative art making practices with marginalized communities.
About the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation
The Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation (HMWF) was formed in 1996 and is dedicated to preserving the site of the Heart Mountain Relocation Center in Park County, Wyo., where nearly 14,000 people of Japanese ancestry were incarcerated from 1942 to 1945, surrounded by guard towers and barbed wire fences. In total, some 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry, two-thirds of them American-born citizens, were deprived of due process and forced to leave their homes and livelihoods during WWII. The HMWF acquired 50 acres of land to preserve the site and interpret what occurred there – for the current and future generations of Americans. The Heart Mountain Interpretive Center houses an extensive collection of artifacts and educational exhibits that serve to honor Heart Mountain survivors and stand as a lasting tribute to their experiences. For more information about the grand opening, or to make a donation, visit www.heartmountain.org.