Supporting The Dreamers: Little Haiti Art Installation Shows Faces Of Solidarity
If you pass by the Laundromat Art Space in Little Haiti, you’ll see the building covered in dozens of black and white portraits. These are the faces of those supporting Dreamers — people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children and now have to fight to stay in the country.
The art installation is part of Inside Out, a project created in 2011 by award-winning artist, JR.
Joshua Geyer has worked with the artist for more than six years and is currently part of the Inside Out team.
"[JR] realized he couldn't travel everywhere and he can’t share everyone's story, so he wanted to create a vehicle/platform where people would be able to make their own art installations to stand up for their own causes," Geyer said.
The cause they are currently shining a light on is that of the Dreamers. They urge Congress to pass an immigration bill that will allow them to stay in the country, after the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was rescinded by the Trump administration in September.
Anyone who passed by the gallery last weekend was able to hop on the team's truck and get their picture taken.
"We've been asking people to put on a 'strong' face. So, whatever that means to you," said Elizabeth Lewis of the Emerson Collective, who partnered with Inside Out.
Some smiled, and others made funny faces, but the message was the same: We are with you, Dreamers.
The poster-sized photos came out of the side of the truck from an on-board printer, and were later glued on the building's facade.
Gabby Pacheco is the program director of TheDream.US, which provides college scholarships to Dreamers. She came to the U.S. when she was 8 years old from Ecuador and was a DACA recipient before her recent marriage.
She said it's extremely important for all immigrants to know they have people supporting them and feels this collage does just that.
"Every day, as immigrants drive through Northeast Second Avenue, they're going to be able to see these beautiful faces of our community," Pacheco said.
She said hopes the portraits will stay up until Art Basel in December, but that will depend on the weather. The water-based glue used to adhere the photos onto the walls may wash away after a few rain showers.
While the Inside Out team has left to continue its tour through 35 cities, the Little Haiti installation can be viewed at 5900 NE Second Ave.