Monday, August 28, 2006

Rife Gallery shows Growing Season - The life of a Migrant Community

Growing Season

The Life of a Migrant Community

September 19 – October 25, 2006

Photographs by Gary Harwood with text by David Hassler

Presented in the Riffe Center lobby, Growing Season includes original photographs accompanied by text panels that give viewers an intimate glimpse into the lives of a tight-knit community and provide a new understanding of the migrant experience.

Gary Harwood and David Hassler combine photography and words to create a stunning portrait of a community rich in social capital and give voice in a new way to a group of people that are largely unseen and misunderstood.

“When I first received permission, in 2001, to photograph the migrant workers on a family farm in Hartville, Ohio, I anticipated that I would be documenting hardship,” said Harwood. “Migrant workers continually face difficult conditions while trying to support themselves and their families. Farm work is physical, hot and dirty. The days in the fields are long and exhausting, and there is no shortage of documented cases of terrible living and working conditions—what I found; however, was a very different story.”

Harwood photographed the Mexican American and Mexican migrant families over the course of several growing seasons. Though his work began with field photos, over time he focused more on family pictures, as he was invited to photograph baptisms, first communions, weddings, birthday parties, and private family events.

In 2004 writer David Hassler began collaborating with Harwood on this documentary project, which has become both an exhibition and a book.

This project was funded by an Ohio Arts Council 2006 Artists and Communities grant.

Gary Harwood is a 2006 OAC Individual Excellence Award recipient, and David Hassler is a 2000 OAC Individual Artist Fellowship Award recipient.

For more information on the book (available in September 2006), visit

The Riffe Center lobby is open Monday – Friday 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. and during regular gallery hours during the weekend. The lobby and gallery are closed on state holidays.

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