An art exhibition recognizing Yakima Valley farmworkers is on display at the Washington State University (WSU) Tri-Cities Art Center in the Consolidated Information Center (CIC) building on campus. A gallery reception, featuring WSU Regent Enrique Cerna, is open to the community and will take place on Sept. 9 from 5 – 7 p.m. in the CIC Art Center.
The exhibit, “Rooted: Irwin Nash Photographs of Yakima Valley Farmworkers”, will be shown in two parts. Part one is currently on display and will end on Sept. 5. Part two will be shown Sept. 12 – Oct. 20. What originally started as a freelance magazine piece on Yakima Valley agriculture turned into a deeper documentation of Chicano livelihood. Nash captured over 9,400 photographs between 1967 and 1976, containing moments from the daily lives of agricultural laborers and their communities. Over 40 of the photographs will be displayed in the exhibit.
“Being able to host ‘Rooted,’ and have Regent Cerna join us for the exhibit reception signals to our community that we are committed to understanding the migrant experience and the settling of Latino families predominantly from the Southwestern United States and Mexico, and also to acknowledging local contributions to national movements,” said Anna Plemons, associate vice chancellor of academic and student affairs. “It has been a joy to walk through the exhibit with different WSU Tri-Cities Cougs and have folks recognize people in the photos. The exhibit has inspired organic storytelling as some viewers have connected their own lived experience to the depictions of farm work, activism, and scenes of familial joy that are displayed in the collection.”
This artistic showcase is in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month in September and October, which celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. Nash’s photographs, which had been previously largely unknown, display scenes from the daily lives of the Yakima Valley farmworker community through experiences, stories and perspectives, and continue to inspire the community to share their stories and help document previously undocumented histories.
The gallery of photos is displayed in collaboration with WSU Libraries’ Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at WSU.
To learn more about the photography of Irwin Nash, visit https://museum.wsu.edu/events/exhibit/2021-our-stories-our-lives-irwin-nash-photographs-of-yakima-valley-migrant-labor/.
Email your press release and a photo to Austin Regimbal, Marketing & Communications Director. Press releases are posted in their entirety. This is a free benefit for members of the Tri-City Regional Chamber.