Dorado hopes to captivate students with a positive depiction of immigrants
The first day of school brought many new changes for students; among them was the artwork lining the walls inside McDonald Hall. Marcos Dorado’s recent exhibit, entitled “Immigrant Me”, contains compelling pencil-drawn portraits.
These portraits highlight the stories of immigrants from various countries. On his blog, Dorado spoke about his project.: “I share the personal stories of those who came to this country,” he writes, “You’ll find out how immigrants arrived, what made them come, how they’ve adjusted and how they identify as new Americans, among other details that make up the rich immigrant story of this county.”
Although the title of the exhibit may appear relatively simple, its meaning is three-fold and holds a greater purpose. “I am an immigrant and growing up I was terrified of people knowing that now I am proud of who I am, and I want to promote my immigrant story. The title ‘Immigrant Me’ also describes every single person who models for the project and when the reader reads the title it puts them in first person as if they were the immigrant. They have to say ‘Immigrant Me’ even if they are not an immigrant,” Dorado said.
In a time where immigration is a hot topic, and is oftentimes portrayed in a negative light, Dorado hopes to bring positivity. “What I can do, as an artist, is speak the language of art and convey these stories and convey this positivism that is not always portrayed by the media,” Dorado said.
Chris Janzen, the assistant professor of art, who is a close personal friend and supporter of Dorado’s work, was key in getting the exhibit installed on campus and hopes it will have an impact on students. “[Marcos’ work] allows us to think about a relevant, contemporary, social issue and it does so in a really productive, constructive way,” Janzen said.
“What I can do, as an artist, is speak the language of art and convey these stories and convey this positivism that is not always portrayed by the media.”
Even after the exhibit has concluded, Dorado wants to make sure that the stories of immigrants from all over the country continue to be told. It is for this reason that he has decided to begin releasing photographs on his blog. Because the photographs are less time consuming to produce, Dorado is hoping to release new photographs and stories more often. Melinda Salerno, Dorado’s close friend and one of the models for the next section of the project, says that it has been a great honor and is very important to her. “All of us came from somewhere, we need to spread more positive news about all immigrants,” Salerno said.
Dorado will be on campus giving a speech to students on September 18th, at 12:40 pm, and encourages students to stop by. He will be answering questions and talking to students after his speech.