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CONTACT: David Henahan

518 587-2100, ext. 2918 or
Ral Manzano
718 907-5740

IMMIGRANTS: Reinventing Amrica:
A Multicultural Celebration
(BROOKLYN, N.Y., Oct. 7, 2014) Empire State College will present IMMIGRANTS: Reinventing
Amrica, a multimedia exhibit showcasing the work of current students and alumni sharing their views,
contributions, and experiences in the making of a new Amrica.

The opening reception is Wednesday, Oct. 8, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Livingston Gallery, sixth floor, 177
Livingston Street, Brooklyn. Ral Manzano, college faculty mentor and gallery coordinator, is the curator
of the exhibition, which will be on display from Oct. 8 through Dec. 18, Monday through Thursday, noon
to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

Empire state college president Merodie A. Hancock said, This wonderful exhibition is one way that
Empire State College is participating in the dialogue around our changing national demographics. This
nation was built upon waves of immigrants, who brought their talents, hard work and perseverence to
contribute to the growth and vitality of this country. As our country engages in debate about immigration,
it is helpful to stop and consider what wonderful contributions immigrants have made, and are still
making, to our common culture. We are pleased to partner with PAMAR for another year to highlight
these contributions and stories, and educate our surrounding community. We invite everyone to stop by.
~ Paula Hewitt Amram is a storytelling artist. Her drawings deal with the migration of people, food, and
animals, the rights of boys and girls, and the relationship between humans and nature. Such constant
interactions nurture her creativity and the world as she sees it.

~Self-taught, Brooklyn-born artist, Michelle Laverne Bossier explores abstraction and color to illustrate
multifaceted aspects of her community.


~ Street photographer Chris John Bowman is fascinated with the many cultures in his neighborhood
known as Little Pakistan, where he finds comfort and feels welcome to learn how cultures live side-by-
side, particularly during a time of often-controversial gentrification and worldwide societal conflict.

~Multimedia and installation Venezuelan artist Patricia Cazorla Sifuentes depicts the hard labor
children of immigrants are exposed to, and exploited by, unscrupulous corporations. She aims to raise
awareness about inhumane working conditions in farms and unfair trades.

~Filomena McEwan, a first-generation Italian, portrays a personal narrative of her family journey and
contribution to America in a collage mosaic. She came to America when she was four years old. Sailing
from Naples, Italy, she depicts her first impressions of her new home, New York, and takes a great pride
on her great-uncles work as a sandhog during the construction of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, now
knows as The Hugh L. Cary Tunnel.

~ Javier Medina, too, is a socially concerned artist. His work moved from the underground artistic world
of Manhattans West Village and the Lower East Side designing flyers and covers for unknown artists and
promoters to satire the social fabric of modern capitalist America. From graphite style to expressionistic
representations, he conveys the world of the other.

America is not a melting pot. It is a multi-colored mosaic with sharp lines of distinction that serve as a
catalyst for co-existence among its masses, says self-taught Mexican descendant artist Gabriel Rivera.
In his mixed-media painting, he portrays the many faces of the New World.

Brazilian artist Claudia Rocha-van Holt calls herself an accidental artist, one that loves old dusty
books and ancient things. She takes nothing for granted and every story she hears become part of her
creativity. As a mixed-media artist, she creates nonlinear dynamic compositions where color and contrast
juxtapose to unveil images or an imaginary landscape.

Stephan van Holt, also a street photographer, focuses on social realities. For him there is more than
black and white but rather many shades of gray, each one with its one current which can draw you in to
do good or evil if one allows it to happen.

Manzano, a Colombian immigrant himself, and an ESC alumnus, has been with the faculty since 2006.
For him, This multicultural coalition of students, mentors, and artists is an example of the schools
commitment to diversity. The United States has been built and rebuilt, shaped and reshaped by
immigrants for a new Amrica. When you facilitate a place for people to live, share, and learn about each
others differences and similarities, you open your heart and mind to greater understanding of humanity
contributing to build kinder societies.

The college is participating in the ninth annual Latin American Cultural Week in New York City by
working with artistic institutions promoting and enriching the arts and bringing together the community at
large. The week is a festival that showcases music, dance, visual arts, theater, film, literature and auctions
throughout the New York City area. The LACW is a program of Pan American Musical Art Research,
founded and directed by Uruguayan pianist Polly Ferman. This year, PAMAR is celebrating its 30th
anniversary. For more information about Ferman, visit or
About SUNY Empire State College

Empire State College, the nontraditional, open college of the SUNY system, educates more than
20,000 students worldwide at eight international sites, more than 35 locations in the state of New
York, online, as well as face to face and through a blend of both, at the associate, bachelors and
masters levels.

The average age of an undergraduate student at the college is 35 and graduate students average
age 40. Most Empire State College students are working adults. Many are raising families and
meeting civic commitments in the communities where they live, while studying part time. In
addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each undergraduate
student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout his or her college career.

Working with their mentors, students design an individual degree program and engage in guided
independent study and course work onsite, online or through a combination of both, which
provides the flexibility for students to choose where, when and how to learn. Students have the
opportunity to enroll five times during the year.

The colleges 70,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians,
business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active
military, union members and more.

The college was first established in 1971 by the SUNY Board of Trustees with the
encouragement of the late Ernest L. Boyer, chancellor of the SUNY system from 1970 to 1977.
Boyer also served as United States commissioner of education during the administration of
President Jimmy Carter and then as president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement
of Teaching.

More information about the college is available at

Directions: 2,3 trains to Hoyt Street or A,C,G to Hoyt-Schermerhorn Streets