The work of Poughkeepsie-based photographer Jorge Abel Santos will be on view in the exhibition, Two Worlds in My Heart, at the James W. Palmer Gallery in Main Building. The show opens with an artist’s reception on Tuesday, September 23, 5 pm in the gallery and will be on display through October 18. This exhibition is free and open to the public.
Two Worlds in My Heart features more than 30 of Santos’ photos. Some depict life in his village in Mexico’s impoverished state of Puebla circa 1991, when the area was still without electricity or telephones. Others document a Poughkeepsie street demonstration in support of immigrants and various other aspects of life in the Hudson Valley.
Santos was one of the early arrivals in the migration of Mexican people to Poughkeepsie beginning in 1989. He was just 17 at the time he left his village. For years after he came to America, Santos made trips back to his village in the volcanic region of Puebla. Returning from those trips, he felt a need to document life there, and also life in the America he had come to love. At first his American pictures focused on boundaries and fences at the beautiful horse farm where he worked caring for racetrack Thoroughbreds contrasted against his village, where there were no fences and lands were held in common. But later he saw more connections, such as when he happened upon a display in a public park of stone tools used by the Wappinger Indians; they looked remarkably like grinding tools still used by his grandmothers in Mexico. This collection of photographs in this exhibition celebrates the similarities and differences of the two places.
Santos launched this exhibit to pay tribute to both places—the two worlds in his heart. After all, he points out, “’Poughkeepsie’ is a Native American word.”
The Palmer Gallery is open from 11 am – 6 pm daily, but calling ahead to the Office of Campus Activities is recommended.
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