Arrivals call forth origin stories. How did we get here? Where did we come from? Americans have remarkably varied stories to share, having come to call this country home in so many different ways: by conquest, displacement, colonialism, the slave trade, voluntary migration, and more. This exhibition focuses on a select series of arrival moments—Columbus, the Middle Passage, the Pilgrims, Ellis Island, the southern border today, among others—in order to look at how artists over time have explored some of the myths and narratives around what it means to be American.
ARRIVALS, guest curated by Heather Ewing, will feature some 50 works spanning the 16th century to the present. Artists represented in the exhibition include Norman Akers, Katrina Andry, Enrique Chagoya, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Willie Cole, Vanessa German, Cannupa Hanska Luger, Titus Kaphar, Dorothea Lange, Annie Lopez, Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, Keith
Anthony Morrison, Dulce Pinzón, Sara Rahbar, Faith Ringgold, Ben Shahn, Roger Shimomura, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Saul Steinberg, Stephanie Syjuco, Thuan Vu, Kara Walker, Flo Oy Wong and N.C. Wyeth. Their works offer a multiplicity of perspectives on signal moments of arrival, confronting ideas of belonging, othering, storytelling, the memory of ancestors, displacement, race, resilience and perseverance. They shed light on the different ways that the country has responded to societal change and changing demographics, and on the variety of strategies that artists have employed as they grapple with the myths and complexities of America’s most cherished ideals.