In 2019, Nurture Nature Center invited local artists to create two- or three-dimensional works around the theme of animal or human migrations. In this painting, completed in 2020, I’ve tried to show some of the motivations forcing millions of people around the world to leave their native countries.
After seeing the film “Human Flow” by prominent Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, the depth and tragedy of this on-going exodus helped me focus on some of the underlying forces. I decided to use the eight-pointed mandala/wheel format and consider just eight of the many reasons for these “migrations”. The wheel image is a reminder that this situation is ever changing, ever present somewhere, always in motion.
In 2019, I was invited to meet a recent immigrant from Central America. This young woman traveled the first 1400 miles of her journey under difficult conditions with her young child to the U.S./ Mexican border. The government of her country had little concern for its citizens, especially those in rural areas, who were often persecuted, and sometimes jailed without charges, or killed. Having a relative she could live with in New Jersey allowed her to move on and begin a new life. Upon entering the U.S., they were held in a detention center for four months. Six or seven of us listened to her story with the help of an interpreter, and during the last five minutes of her conversation, she was crying under her words. The translation was not needed.
Don started exhibiting his art in 1962, and much of his work in the 1960’s involved creating illustrations for magazines, textbooks, calendars, and newspapers. He has a BFA degree from Tyler School of Art at Temple University, and also attended California State University at Long Beach.
For 30 years, he taught visual art in high schools in New Jersey and Massachusetts, including most traditional 2-D and 3-D disciplines, as well as photography, computer graphics, and video production.
Don is a member of ACE, the Arts Community of Easton, and has had group and solo exhibits at the Nurture Nature Center and many other local venues. He has been a Master Watershed Steward since 2018, and is currently a member of the Fry’s Run Watershed Association.
Through a NOAA grant received by the Nurture Nature Center, he was one of three artists asked to create portable murals reflecting the theme Create Resilience. Don’s mural portrays images of the past, present, and future in the Wilson Area School District, including Williams Township and Wilson Borough.