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Carnegie Arts Center exhibits explore surfaces, migrant farm workers
Carnegie David Bacon
“Mom and child” is one work on display at the Carnegie Arts Center as part of the "In the Fields of the North / En los Campos del Norte" exhibit of photojournalist David Bacon’s study of migrant farm workers.

The Carnegie Arts Center was able to reopen the doors with Stanislaus County in the red tier and the center is welcoming back visitors with exhibits on migrant farm workers and unique works from four regional women artists

"In the Fields of the North / En los Campos del Norte" features photojournalist David Bacon’s evocative, powerful photographs, amplified by moving oral narratives from migrant farm workers.

"The exhibition, fully translated into both English and Spanish, gives viewers a reality check on the food they eat and the lives of the people who harvest it," said Carnegie Arts Center Director Lisa McDermott.

Traveling with migrant workers as the fruit and harvest season moves from the Mexican border to Washington state, In the Fields of the North / En los Campos del Norte sheds light on some basic questions: How much do we know about the lives of the people who feed us? Where do they live? How does it feel to do some of the hardest repetitive labor imaginable? And, what answers do farm workers themselves have to end their poverty and endless migration?

Bacon, a photographer, journalist, and activist, has spent over three decades documenting the lives of migrant workers, building upon his previous work as a union organizer.

The exhibit is based upon the book of the same name, published in 2017 by University of California Press.

“Bacon captures the humanity of workers who work each day in demanding physical labor, in the hot sun, and for poverty wages," said Kent Wong, director of the UCLA Labor Center. "This is one of the few publications that captures the authentic stories of California farm workers, through their own voices and with the images of their living and working conditions.”

Bacon is also the author of "The Children of NAFTA, Communities Without Borders, Illegal People, and The Right to Stay Home."

The exhibit is produced in partnership with the California Rural Legal Assistance, the Binational Front of Indigenous Organizations, and History San José; and is touring the U.S. through Exhibit Envoy.

The exhibit will be at the Carnegie through May 23.

The exhibition "Surfaces" will be on view in the Lobby Galleries through April 25. The show features four women artists from Northern and Central California: Kate Jackson (Merced), Dana Mano-Flank (San Carlos), Denise Oyama Miller (Fremont) and Michelle Park (Turlock).

Nesting by Michelle Park
This work titled “Nesting” by Michelle Park was created with a tea bag, dryer lint, red bud pods, embroidered cloth and mounted on wood and is part of an exhibit featuring regional women artists at the Carnegie Arts Center.

"This is an exhibition that must be seen in person to truly be experienced," McDermott said. "The artists on display use surfaces and textures that invite us to examine their work closely. Plush or firm, sleek or weathered, silky or rough – certain art media have inherently tactile surface textures. We see them and immediately want to run our fingers over the work to make a physical sensory connection. Other media can be used to create implied textures that engage our senses through suggestion, memory or metaphor. It is exciting to see the ways these women artists explore the possibilities in their surfaces.”

Admission to the Carnegie is $7 general, $5 for seniors and students, and free for Carnegie members, CSU Stanislaus students and children.

The Carnegie Arts Center is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays.

The Carnegie Arts Center is located at 250 N. Broadway.