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A Look At Life Through Others’ Eyes

By Cara Goger — 

MARIPOSA – The Mariposa County Arts Council invites the public to the opening reception of two concurrent exhibitions at the Treetop Gallery. I Am The Dream For Myself: Images by Refugee and Immigrant Youth (Photographs from the AjA Project’s Permanent Collection) and Photos from the Field: Images from F/STOP open on Friday, Dec. 9, from 4 to 6 p.m.

Light refreshments will be served and a fundraiser dinner at the Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort’s June Bug Café will follow the reception. A portion of the proceeds will go to support the Arts Council’s Summer Art Camp program.

I Am The Dream For Myself features over 30 images created by displaced youth from around the world.

The young photographers featured in this exhibition came to the United States between the years of 2005 and 2013 from Afghanistan, Burma, Cambodia, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Mexico, Somalia, Sudan, and Vietnam.

These images and statements offer a glimpse into their challenging experiences, and share their thoughts, concerns and feelings related to having to leave home and begin building a new life in the United States.

To bring this special exhibition to Mariposa, the Arts Council partnered with the San Diego-based nonprofit, the AjA Project, which provides photography-based educational programming to refugee and displaced youth.

“AjA” is an acronym for the phrase, “Autosuficiencia Juntada con Apoyo,” which translates to “supporting self-sufficiency.” The exhibition’s title, I Am The Dream For Myself comes directly from a quote from one of the photographers.

Photos from the Field consists of almost 200 images on wood created by participants of the Arts Council’s F/STOP program. F/STOP is a series of free, two-and-five-week photography classes for Mariposa County residents 55 years of age and older.

These classes are offered in downtown Mariposa, Greeley Hill, and at John C. Fremont Health Care District’s Ewing Wing, a skilled nursing facility. The F/STOP curriculum focuses on the artistic elements of photography and participants learn how to use photography to creatively express their identities, tell their stories, and share their connection to Mariposa.

In addition to I Am The Dream For Myself and Photos from the Field, the Arts Council’s gallery will also feature the work of over 30 regional artists and artisans working in a variety of mediums and styles.

The Treetop Gallery is located at 5009 Highway 140 at the south end of Mariposa. For more information please visit www.mariposaartscouncil.org or call the Arts Council at (209) 966-3155.

Support for Photos from the Field: Images from F/STOP comes from the California Arts Council’s Local Impact program.

The Mariposa County Arts Council is an incorporated not-for-profit organization, created to promote and support all forms of the cultural arts, for all ages, throughout Mariposa County.

Photo: Image from I Am The Dream For Myself exhibition

Cara Goger is the Executive Director of the Mariposa County Arts Council

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