Skip to main content

ASU art exhibits explore cultural identity

April 25, 2008

ASU’s Museum of Anthropology is featuring two new concurrent exhibits – “Mosaic: Cultural Identity in America” and “Fuse: Portraits of Refugee Households in Metropolitan Phoenix.”

Through the artwork of local artist Eliza Gregory and selected student artists, these exhibits explore questions of identity and cultural experience in the largest urban center in the Southwest. Although the exhibits focus on two distinct topics, their approaches and themes complement each other, with both exploring contemporary regional, social and political relationships.

In “Mosaic: Cultural Identity in America,” jury-selected student artists explore questions of national identity. Sarah Elsasser, the guest curator and a student in Barrett, the Honors College, has asked students to express, through a variety of artistic media, how they understand and identify with being American. “Mosaic” contextualizes American identity as a diverse and changing ascription, based on ethnicity, religion, gender and sexual orientation. This exhibit presents positive and negative takes on American culture and invites visitors to engage emotionally with the artwork.

“Fuse” is a portrait exhibit of the complex worlds of resettled refugees in the Phoenix metropolitan area. It fosters critical thinking on who refugees are and how, through sharing experiences, the Valley community can seek common ground. The photographs validate the struggles and triumphs of these families, portraying them in a way that fosters a deeper sense of belonging in the community.

The exhibition was developed in collaboration with Community Outreach & Advocacy for Refugees (COAR), a youth-led nonprofit organization based in Tempe that works with refugees and local artist Eliza Gregory, a member of the eye lounge artist cooperative on Roosevelt Row.

The exhibits are on display through Oct. 3. The Museum of Anthropology is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. when school is in session. An artist panel discussion will be held at noon, April 29, in the Museum of Anthropology in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change building.
For more information about the exhibits and upcoming events, contact the museum at (480) 965-6224 or visit the Web site