Salon at the Benton: An Immigrant’s Vision

Friday, October 1
5 – 6:30pm at the North Reading Room of Wilbur Cross Building 

What would it mean for refugees and immigrants to the US to be seen and recognized as part of the fabric of everyday life? How can portraiture forge connections between strangers, and potentially foster community? These questions lie at the heart of Joe Standart’s public art and community engagement initiatives, currently displayed at the William Benton Museum of Art in the exhibition Immigrant Eyes.

In 2018, Standart’s monumental photographs of recent refugees and immigrants to Connecticut were installed on buildings across New Haven and in the historic New Haven Green. This panel brings together participants in the New Haven project for a discussion of its impact, as well as issues around immigration, community, and visibility in the US, Connecticut, and on the UConn campus.

Chris George has served as Executive Director of IRIS (Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services), the New Haven-based refugee resettlement agency, since 2005. Before settling in Connecticut, he spent 12 years on the West Bank in Gaza, doing humanitarian work and working with refugees. He began his international career in 1977 as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Muscat, Oman.

Hewad Hemat is an advocate for refugees, a political science student, and Operation Director at HewadPress news agency. He is a former Afghan refugee and U.S. military media advisor and translator in Afghanistan.

Jesus Morales Sánchez is a community educator and advocate in the Latinx and immigrant community for comprehensive and inclusive sex education, access to healthcare and medications, immigrant rights and anti-racism. Born in Mexico, he is Advocacy Manager at T1International.

Joe Standart has worked as a professional photographer for 40 years. His award-winning career includes individual and group exhibitions across the country and his work is included in many private collections and museums. He founded Portrait of AmericaÔ in 2004.

José Luis Falconi is Assistant Professor of Art and Human Rights at the University of Connecticut. Born in Lima, he has held teaching appointments at universities in New England and Latin America. From 2001 to 2011 he was Art Forum Curator at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University, where he received his Ph.D.

This event is co-sponsored by the Human Rights Institute at UConn.

RSVP appreciated by Wednesday, September 29th
to or 860-486-4520.

Please note that if you require additional assistance with hearing, notify the museum a week in advance.