Without Papers documents one Italian American family’s immigration journey

Nov 02, 2017 254

BY: RYAH COOLEY

Artist Jim Dessicino's grandmother, whose parents had immigrated to the U.S. from the Adriatic Coast of Italy, had always told him she didn't speak Italian. So he was understandably confused when he moved into her old house in New Jersey in 2016 and found heaps of old family documents, including letters addressed to his grandmother written in Italian. Those letters were just the start of the spark of inspiration that led Dessicino to create the exhibit Without Papers, a series of sculptures, paintings, and drawings, currently on display at Cuesta College's Harold J. Miossi Gallery.

Dessicino ended up moving into his grandmother's old house after he abruptly lost his studio in Philadelphia when it was sold to developers. For years, Dessicino fueled his art with politics and, in a way, by following his family history; the work has come full circle. "I wanted to do a show about the contemporary migrant crisis, and I end up in my grandma's home," Dessicino said. "It made this bridge between what was happening in the world and my life."

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SOURCE: https://www.newtimesslo.com

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