In the final, 60th panel of The Migration Series, Jacob Lawrence leaves us with the words “And the migrants keep coming.” The story of migration is ongoing; what would the 61st panel look like today? Featured below are some thoughtful responses to this question by local artists. Submit your #Panel61 on our recently launched Jacob Lawrence website.
“My work is a depiction of the family of Alton Sterling, who was killed by police on camera a few months ago. I used an old-style tv because I feel like this problem has been going on since this model was relevant. I think it could be Panel no. 61 because if this continues, a new migration out of the U.S. could be in the making.”
“For the past five years, I have been focusing my work on the Arab Spring. In 2010, I had my first trip back to the Middle East since having been evacuated from Beirut, Lebanon in late 1975. I went to Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. I saw where my father was born in Damascus, Syria.
As the months have dragged on, initial hope has turned into war and mass migrations that have resulted from the war in Syria.
Focusing on women and children, the most vulnerable of victims, I also address the current anti-immigration sentiment that seems ever-growing globally. The calls to build a wall to keep them out, or to keep them imprisoned in refugee camps. I focus on the bias and negative stereotyping that this wave of refugees, mostly from Syria, seeking safety, has brought to much of the Western European countries and America.
I try to bring attention to the plight of children fleeing their war-torn countries, trying to find safe haven, while remaining hopeful that one day things will change; or just to make sure people do not forget the sacrifices that so many people have made and continue to make.”
“This painting is part of an ongoing series that futuristically looks towards humanity’s eventual interstellar migration, and exploration of the cosmic landscape. These double-sided cyanotype paintings on silk habotai, currently spanning up to 33 feet in length, are un-stretched but secured with hand rolled edges, and suspended in zero gravity for the viewer to float through and around, as an immersive experience. In the spirit of Jacob Lawerence’s Migration Series, which explores the motivations and sacrifices of 6 million African Americans during the Great Migration, this work is designed to be an interactive monument, that acknowledges the hardships of planetary relocation through focusing hope towards the beauty and potential of life after the long journey.”