'Art and Refugees: Shine the Light' gallery exhibition highlights experience of world refugees

INDIANAPOLIS -- The experiences of refugees will be highlighted in a multi-arts exhibit that opens Jan. 9 at IUPUI, with affiliated events in Indianapolis and Bloomington.

"Art & Refugees: Shine the Light" brings together glass, photography and documentary art to create awareness of the refugee experience, telling stories of perseverance that transcend cultures, time and religion. The United Nations reports that refugee crises across the world have forced an unprecedented 68.5 million people from their homes.

Artwork of cast glass and cement footprintsView print quality image
"Todesmarche Revisited" is composed of cast glass and cement footprints, some of which were taken from Holocaust survivors.

The exhibit will be open Jan. 9-31 in the IUPUI Campus Center, 420 University Blvd. It is free and open to the public.

Pieces of the exhibit are housed in the Cultural Arts Gallery on the second level of the Campus Center as well as on the first floor. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays. Visitor parking is available in the adjacent Vermont Street Garage.

Members of the campus and community will have a chance to meet the artists at an opening reception taking place 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Jan. 9 in the Campus Center Atrium. The reception will include light refreshments and a short program.

The exhibit includes "Todesmarche Revisited" by Laura Donefer, an installation of cast glass and cement footprints, some of which were taken from Holocaust survivors, telling the story of the forced marches and displacement.

The glass installation is juxtaposed by German photographer Charlotte Schmitz's "Take Me to Jermany" photography installation, capturing the faces and experiences of displaced refugees living in Europe, and excerpts of the "Finding Home" documentary by multi-Emmy Award-winning filmmaker David Marshall in collaboration with Deborah Haber, creator/playwright of the "Moses Man: Finding Home" musical.

Affiliated Events

  • "Exploring Stories of Holocaust and Displacement," hosted by the Jewish Federation of Indianapolis, will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 8 in the Laikin Auditorium at the Jewish Community Center, 6701 Hoover Road. This program will feature testimonials from local Holocaust survivors as well as a panel of visiting artists. Participants can also view a photography exhibit of and by contemporary refugees in Europe. The event is free. Preregistration is preferred at the JCC website, by calling 317-251-9467 or at the JCC membership desk.
  • An open house and panel discussion with the exhibit artists will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. Jan. 10 in Room 1060 of the Indiana University Global and International Studies Building on the IU campus in Bloomington.
  • "Refugees of the Holocaust, Refugees of Today" will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Jan 29 in IUPUI's Hine Hall Auditorium, 875 W. North St. The program will feature a panel discussion with Tamra Wright, director of diversity, equity and inclusion for the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI, and will include IUPUI's scholar-in-residence, Adam Strom, Director of Re-Imagining Migration; artist Debbie Haber, director of Shine the Light and daughter of Holocaust-survivor refugees; and Winnie Betili Bulaya, director of Refugee Welcoming Baskets.

Media Contact

Mandy Bray

IUPUI Office of International Affairs

Phone: 317- 274-2199

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Email: braymand@iupui.edu

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