About The Exhibit
To Practice Taking Root is a collection of works that shine a light on the struggles of minorities that are rooted in our communities. These works take four different forms – 2D, 3D, installation, and auditory. These works shed light on the isolation which stems as a consequence of being immigrants, BiPOC, LGBTQ+, or disabled people living in communities afflicted by Western capitalism, colonialism, and religion.
“Minorities are different in many distinct ways, and in my experience and those of my subjects, people with majoritarian privilege often do not know how to approach us. Their misgivings can give way to uncomfortable experiences, including microaggressions, physical aggression, and violent crimes that stay with us for the rest of our lives. These kinds of events leave us doubting our place in society; they are a constant reminder of how undervalued we are in their eyes. When talking about immigrants, our integration process is a difficult one — we miss our homes, our families, and our cultures. We are often disillusioned by the assimilation necessitated by dominant American culture, and we can be shocked when we face rejection or other forms of marginalization for our ‘other-ness’. In conversation with other minorities, I find that our experiences navigating an overarchingly standardized American culture overlap with similarities despite our different backgrounds: we feel uprooted. This exhibition is my way of using my platform and my medium as a conduit for our voices.”
Paloma on To Practice Taking Root
This collection of works contains Guarumo monoprints in which Paloma explores the hurdles that minorities have to overcome to rise into better places, the invisibilities that are often suffered, and the dismissiveness that these groups are often met with based on their condition as minorities.
Be a part of To Practice Taking Root by interacting with two hands-on installations in the gallery. The first, titled “When one becomes many”, is created with white paper labels in the shape of a “voice” the way it is represented in a sound equalizer. You can join by writing information about your origins: where you are from, where your grandparents came from, and your cultural identity. By reminding ourselves of our origin stories, we can create one big voice showcasing our collective displacement. After you have added your part of the voice, explore Paloma’s collection of accordion books which contain the written stories that she has collected from participants about their experiences as minorities in their daily lives. These books expand and contract, much like our personal and cultural identities do in different contexts.
Finally, the culmination of To Practice Taking Root is a collection of never-before-seen printed portraits of collaborators who work with Paloma, lending their likeness and stories to be shared with the world. Included in this collection will be portraits of minorities from around Saugatuck.
“I fundamentally create these prints from a place of love, listening to these collaborators helps us to connect through our shared experiences. Carving these portraits is a ritual of prayer and light, of making intentions for their well being and the life ahead of them.” – Paloma on To Practice Taking Root