As part of our Stitching Our Stories program, members of the immigrant community in Santa Fe, New Mexico participated in HeART and Story Workshops and created the storycloths on display in this gallery. The workshops were organized by Art and Remembrance and Ripple Catalyst Studio and conducted with the assistance of several Santa Fe organizations, including Santa Fe Community College, Nuestra Jornada at Gerard’s House and the Mujeres de Adelante Cooperative. These storycloths were displayed in a 2016 exhibit at the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission’s Community Gallery along with images of the artwork of Esther Nisenthal Krinitz that had inspired their personal creations.
These storycloths reflected many of the same themes as Esther’s art, a telling of the pain and longing of people who leave behind family and country — and of challenges in finding acceptance in a new place. As Ingrid’s storycloth relates: “After 3 years coming here to US, I became a preschool teacher. I am so proud of that. One day one of my coworkers told me that I was stealing somebody else’s job. ‘Here in America, we need people like you only to pick up lettuces or tomatoes.’” But many also mirrored Esther’s resiliency, their pictures speaking poignantly to the hopes and aspirations of people seeking a new and better life as Americans.