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Home Explore Don Coen - The Migrant Series

Don Coen - The Migrant Series

Published by Booth Western Art Museum, 2018-04-23 17:17:25

Description: Don Coen - The Migrant Series

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For Immediate Release Press Contact: Tom Shinall, TMP Director of Marketing [email protected] 770-387-1300BOOTH WESTERN ART MUSEUM SET TO OPENMOST CONTEMPORARY EXHIBITION TO DATE Don Coen: The Migrant Series opens April 16, 2016CARTERSVILLE, GEORGIA – Don Coen: The Migrant Series is, first and foremost, about people: hard-working individuals who travel to harvest seasonal crops in the United States. Booth Western Art Museumis excited to present arguably the most contemporary exhibition in the Museum’s history, Don Coen: TheMigrant Series. The exhibition will be on display in the Booth’s Special Exhibition Gallery April 16through July 24.In 1992, Colorado-based artist Don Coen began taking photographs of migrant laborers during his travelsaround the country, an interest that developed out of his early experiences working on his family's farm.He typically interacted directly with the workers he encountered and, whenever possible, receivedpermission to take their photographs. Coen's collection of photographs grew into the thousands before hebegan this series in 2001. He came to know many of his models closely and visited with them severaltimes over the years.The paintings in this series are large. On average, the fifteen pieces are 7 feet by 10 feet, making themtoo large to ignore. They were created using a low-pressure airbrush, and feature upwards of 60 layers ofpaint. At a distance, the works appear highly realistic. Observed closely, however, numerous shades ofcolor and abstract forms are evident, along with a web of pencil marks and squiggles throughout. Coen'spersonal style, with its combination of abstraction and realism, has been called \"Photo-Impressionism\" byDr. Lewis Sharp, director emeritus of the Denver Art Museum.In telling the stories of the people in these paintings, the emphasis is on the humanity of the individualsportrayed. In this way, Coen hopes to bring attention to a segment of society that is too often overlooked.“For the average American,” states the artist, “migrant workers are an invisible and transparentcomponent of our world.”In America and around the world, the agricultural industry relies on seasonal laborers to harvest crops. InAmerica, it is estimated that 1.3 million citizens travel from state to state working on MORE


Page two, Don Coenfarms, with many more traveling under work visas or as undocumented laborers from other countries. Thework is difficult, the pay is typically low, and the long-term exposure to pesticides used on crops isdangerous to the worker’s health. Yet the service the migrant farmers provide is vital to Americanagriculture and our nation’s economy.Coen appreciates that the topic of migrant farmers in America is currently wrought with extensive politicalbaggage, but his desire is that The Migrant Series rises above the din. His aim is to raise awarenessabout migrant farming concerns by emphasizing the humanity of the workers themselves. Coen says, “Inthe current national climate of controversy surrounding highly charged immigration issues, my seriesoffers an opportunity to step outside the controversy to acknowledge those humans whose labors makeour lives better.”On Saturday, April 16, Booth Museum Members and guests are invited to a Gallery Walk, ExhibitionOpening Reception, and Evening Lecture with Don Coen. At 4:30 pm Coen will lead a gallery walkthrough the exhibition and discuss selected works. Attendees can meet the artist while refreshments areserved in the Atrium from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. At 7:00 pm in Bergman Theatre, Coen will share his story,from working the land with his family and several Latino families, to how these moments helped develophis artistic career. He will be joined by Rose Fredrick who co-curated the exhibition. These activities arefree for Booth Museum Members and included with general admission for not-yet members.For more information on Don Coen: The Migrant Series contact the Museum at 770-387-1300 or visitwww.boothmuseum.org.About Booth Western Art MuseumBooth Western Art Museum, an Affiliate to the Smithsonian Institution, is a 120,000 square foot museumlocated in Cartersville, Georgia, where guests are invited to See America’s Story through contemporaryWestern artwork, a Presidential Gallery, Civil War art gallery, and Sagebrush Ranch, an interactivechildren’s gallery. Open since August 2003, Booth Museum is the only museum of its kind in theSoutheast and is the second largest art museum in the state of Georgia. To learn more about BoothWestern Art Museum, visit www.boothmuseum.org. ###


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