Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Lao Diaspora Project: Refuge of the InvisibLao Exhibition, January 10- 24, 2015

Little Laos on the Prairie, Laos in the House and the Lao American artist Chantala Kommanivanh have spent the better part of 2014 gathering the oral and visual stories of the Lao community as we prepare to mark 40 years since the beginning of the Lao diaspora.

Those efforts are now culminating in one of the first events in the country in 2015 as a storytelling art and photography exhibit at the Vine Gallery entitled: “Refuge of the InvisibLao: A Visual Essay.”

The exhibit will feature the work of acclaimed neo-expressionist Chicago-based artist Chanthala Kommanivanh and past and present portraits of Lao American journeys that were collected by LLOTP Founding Editor, Chanida Phaengdara Potter, and other special guests.

The event welcomes community members, public officials, advocates, scholars, and those interested in immigrant stories from Laos and Southeast Asia.

They're asking many profound questions during this exhibit:
What is your dream after a tumultuous past? After the Laotian Civil War during the Vietnam War era, thousands of Southeast Asians emigrated to the United States, Australia, France and other countries. Thousands more followed as students, merchants, and to simply start new lives. How have the years changed our sense of who we are, who we have been, and who we can be?

During this time, Little Laos on the Prairie will launch its 2015 #BeLaod campaign to promote historically invisible stories of Lao American journeys in the United States.

Stories of displacement, isolation, identity crisis, reflection, hope and happiness are some of the themes that encompass the depth of the path to an American Dream for the Lao Diaspora.

The opening storytelling reception is Saturday, January 10, 2015 from 5:00pm-8:00pm. Appetizers and drinks will be served. Originals and prints of artwork will be available for sale. All proceeds goes to The Lao Diaspora Project and their collaborators to continue their work.

The exhibition runs January 10-24, 2015. The Vine Arts Center is located at 2637 27th Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

It's on the secnd level of Ivy Arts Building in the Seward neighborhood.

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