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1988 to 1998:
The Last Ten Years

This section is about Hispanic or Latino (mainly Mexican, Mexican-American, and Central American) farmworkers. They work in vegetable crops and pick apples, mainly in counties to the north and east of Geneseo. The paintings of Juan Cavazos, a migrant worker from Mexico, make a powerful artistic and social statement about the dignity that farmworkers deserve. They are followed with photographs of Mexican lettuce cutters near Oswego. A panorama by a young farmworker, Monica García, leads into questions of life choices for young farmworkers in the 1990's. Also featured are a description and discussion points from a documentary video, Constancia's Choice, addressing these questions.
Juan Cavazos' art glows with strong color, intense expression, and moral force. His themes are the fields he has known as a migrant farmworker from Monterrey, Mexico, and a visionary critique of the larger social and economic order that constrains farmworkers' lives.

While Juan was harvesting potatoes in Wyoming County, his blossoming talent was recognized by a Center staff member. Following the harvest, he traveled to Buffalo to study at the Molly/Olga Neighborhood Art Center. He later taught art in migrant camps. His work has since been shown in Buffalo, Rochester, and Geneseo, and has appeared in national traveling exhibits.

Juan says of his art: "I want to demonstrate the courage that we farmworkers have dedicated to hard labor, and that it not only means financial gain, but also a reward which helps us survive and keeps us alive. The majority of farmworkers lack the knowledge or skills to get other jobs. That is the way things are. But we make an immense contribution to society, to the country and the community."

Juan is a 1996 graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology, with a degree in Graphic Arts.

 

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