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Opening Night Event: Or Does it Explode

Opening Night Event: Or Does it Explode
Fri, Feb 15, 2019

Guests at an opening night event at UICA Grand Rapids

6:00 - 9:00 pm
UICA Members: Free
Public: Free with gallery admission

Join UICA for the opening of our newest exhibition, Or Does it Explode? Enjoy docent-led tours, a cash bar, light refreshments, and a first look at the works on view.

Or Does it Explode?
Feb 15 - Jun 16, 2019



Or Does It Explode? is a multimedia group exhibition on the documentation of refugees and forced migration. In an effort to build awareness of the millions of lives affected globally, this exhibition offers figurative work merged with descriptive text that individualizes the numerous struggles that result from migration.

The artwork is primarily portraiture giving faces to the statistics about refugees and migrants, and creating a bridge of humanity, rather than a disconnect. The exhibition also delves into information regarding how specific families navigate their lives in new countries, paying particular attention to changes within culture, identity, and dreams for the future.

The Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes closes his famous poem, Harlem (Dream Deferred), with “or does it explode,” leaving the open-ended idea to be contemplated. Journeys of refugees and migrants often begin with a dream of freedom, asylum, or a better life for themselves or their families, yet dreams are constantly altered while continuously considering transitions. Through this exhibition, viewers are challenged to consider how migratory and refugee lifestyles abruptly and permanently affect people and cultures, and how dreams transform or die as a result.

César Dezfuli - Madrid, Spain
Brian Sokol - Santa Fe, NM
Maranie R. Staab - Pittsburgh, PA
Manar Bilal - Saint Jeande Braye, France

Individuals with disabilities who require accommodations should contact Megan Bylsma, Associate Director, at 616.454.7000 x11 or at least 72 hours in advance.