Invisible Odysseys: Art by Mexican Farmworkers runs Feb. 3 - April 28, 2012 at the Vermont Folklife Center in Middlebury, VT. The accompanying bi-lingual book of photographs and statements was partially funded by the Consulate General of Mexico in Boston and is available through Kokoro Press.
I co-ordinated this project with my friends, Susannah McCandless and Ethan Mitchell. We brought art materials to farmworkers who help keep the dairy industry alive here in Vermont. They live in isolation and fear on the farms because of their undocumented status and the color of their skin in Vermont. As one worker said, “I feel like a grain of brown rice in a sea of white rice.” Extraordinary works of art have emerged in the dioramas that they have created expressing their journeys. This is truly “work of the soul,” both moving and powerful, and links their journeys to the larger history of immigration.
I’ve created two companion pieces integrating farmorkers journeys from Mexico to Vermont – “Walk in my footsteps”(incorporating actual workers’ footprints) and “Workers’ Mandala; Tracing the journeys” (incorporating actual workers’ gloves). I hope that you may be able to view the show or , if not, perhaps purchase the book which eloquently represents the exhibit in image and text. - B. Amore