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Napa Valley Museum Opens Three Fall Exhibitions; Don Coen "The Migrant Series", Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, Braceros: The Napa Valley Story

October 28, 2017
11:00 am
Napa Valley Museum

Napa Valley Museum launches its fall season of exhibitions on September 2, 2017, with a prestigious touring history exhibit about the Braceros contract worker program from the Smithsonian Institution, an inspiring companion exhibit telling the Napa Valley’s own Bracero story through rare historical and original material developed by Napa Valley College and curator Oscar Aguilar, and a thrilling West Coast premiere of towering paintings by Colorado artist Don Coen celebrating today’s migrant farm workers. “The Napa Valley Museum’s presentation of these three exhibitions is happening in exactly the right place at precisely the right time,” notes Museum Executive Director Laura Rafaty...There could be no better place to host the final stop of the Smithsonian’s touring Braceros exhibit than here in the Napa Valley, where so much of the Braceros story was written, where the lessons of past contract worker programs are so relevant, and where the Braceros legacy is so positive, enduring and profound.” In our Spotlight Gallery, “Braceros: the Napa Valley Story,” is an inspiring companion exhibit on the history and legacy of the Napa Valley Braceros, with rare local material developed by the Napa Valley College team, led by cultural geographer Sandra Nichols, history teacher Jim McGowan and his students, with additional content from the Napa and St. Helena Historical Societies and the Napa County Library. The exhibit gathers artifacts, photos and testimonials from residents with ties to the Bracero Program, the braceros themselves, and the family members and neighbors who followed in the braceros’ footsteps. “The exhibit will set the scene in World War II when braceros helped save Napa Valley’s agriculture, focuses on four of the many Mexican hometowns that sent braceros to work in Napa, and explores the bracero legacy as it lives on in Napa Valley today,” explains Oscar de Haro, Napa Valley College Vice President for Student Services and Assistant Superintendent, who is the descendant of a Bracero worker. The curator for the companion local exhibition is Oscar Aguilar, a Napa artist admired for his work with Nimbus Arts and for his own evocative paintings and sculpture. Aguilar brings his artistic eye to the project, making the exhibition multi-dimensional and emotionally powerful. Says Aguilar: “I am glad to be involved because I am from Mexico and this is another opportunity for me to discover the other side of the face of the workers, especially now, at this moment in history.”

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Napa Valley Museum

50 Presidents Cir, Yountville, CA 94599, USA

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