Opening June 16, 2017 through Mid August
Featuring the work of Joan Belmar (Chile/United States, Anna Davis (Sweden/United States), Mikray Pida (China/United States) and KM Ramich (United States)
Many of our greatest "American" artists were, in fact, naturalized Americans born abroad. Some, like Mark Rothko and Louise Nevelson, came as children and received their artistic training in the United States. Others, like Hans Hoffman, Willem de Kooning and David Hockney, came as adults, seeking refuge or creative freedom in the United States.
All made major contributions to our "American" culture, as do many foreign-born fine artists today.
We have no way of knowing how many great artists perished in Europe during World War II because our Government refused to let them enter the United States, due to U.S. laws which discriminated against immigrants on the basis of their religion or country of origin.
And if the Trump Administration's Travel Ban takes full effect---denying entry to all Muslims, or all Muslims from certain countries in the "watered down" version---we'll never know what they might have contributed to our culture, either.
Nor will we ever know how many great artists, from countries whose citizens are not categorically banned, will decide not to emigrate to the United States because they find Trump's policies repugnant. Or because they feel they'll always be second-class citizens in Trump's America.
The three emigre artists whose work is currently on display at CK/RFA---Joan Belmar, Anna Davis and Mikray Pida--all live and work (now) in Washington, having come here from their native countries to create art influenced by the cultures where they grew to maturity and by the country and culture where they chose to live as adults.
Their styles are different. Their art is not necessarily political. Yet each is extremely talented and we benefit greatly from their being here. Please come to see their work and, in that way, recognize them---and thousands of other emigre artists like them---for enriching our American culture. Let's just hope they decide to stay.