Man with Opera Glasses, New York, 1974 | Portrait of Go Player, California, 1975 from Twosomes Copyright © Mark Chester
Contribute to the Mark Chester Diversity Project
Purchase a copy of the award-winning Twosomes and 100% of proceeds will help fund the production and distribution of the book The Bay State: A Multicultural Landscape, Photographs of New Americans for gifting to all Massachusetts public libraries and schools. Fiscal agent for this philanthropic photography book and exhibit is MIRA, Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition.Read More
Mark Chester’s The Bay State: A Multicultural Landscape, Photographs of New Americans at Higgins Art Gallery Through September 2018
Artist Reception: September 20, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.Read More
“In a democracy, the highest office is the office of citizen.” — Felix Frankfurter, former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
Building Bridges: Family Diversity Projects featuring The Bay State: A Multicultural Landscape, Photographs of New Americans.Read More
Mark Chester Interviewed by Paul Falcone for Wellesley Media
The Bay State: A Multicultural Landscape, Photographs of New Americans at the Wellesley Free Library July and August 2018.
Wellesley Free Library
The Bay State: A Multicultural Landscape
Photographs of New Americans
This exhibit of inspirational portraits, presented by photographer Mark Chester, offers a moving display of more than 400 newly naturalized U.S. citizens who hail from over 190 of the 196 countries and territories around the globe and are now residents of the Commonwealth.
The Bay State: A Multicultural Landscape, Photographs of New Americans may be viewed throughout July and August at the Wellesley Free Library located at 530 Washington Street. Hours are Monday through Thursday 9AM-9PM; Friday 9AM-6PM; and Saturday 9AM-5PM.
“This photographic essay conveys the many faces of immigrants in our American society. It captures the fact that the strength of America is the extremely varied background of our citizens. We should cherish this process and continue to nourish it. In this photo essay, “immigrant” becomes “U.S. citizen,” and we better understand the importance of naturalization which often gets overlooked in the broader dialogue of immigration matters. Congratulations to Mark.”
— Honorable William P. Joyce, Immigration Judge, U.S. Immigration Court (retired)
The Mark Chester Diversity Project has developed a new educational program, “Faces of America:” Teaching Tolerance to Massachusetts’ Elementary Schools. The program will utilize Chester’s exhibit of photographs of new Americans and his companion book as well as complementary classroom activities and lesson plans. “Faces of America,” which is launching with a pilot program for the Falmouth Public Schools, is designed to help students to understand that differences in viewpoint and culture are to be cherished and appreciated rather than judged and feared. The project will provide the opportunity for students to develop their own cultural identity while appreciating the vast variety of ethnicities that make up their state.
As President John F. Kennedy said, “Everywhere, immigrants have enriched and strengthened the fabric of American life.”
The Bay State: A Multicultural Landscape, Photographs of New Americans may be viewed throughout May at the Falmouth Art Center located at 137 Gifford Street. Hours are Monday – Friday: 9am – 4pm; Saturday: 10am – 2pm; and Sunday: 1pm – 4pm. A reception will be held on Friday, May 4th, from 5pm to 7pm followed by a talk with the artist and attorney Collin Mickle, Coordinator of the Immigration Resource Center in Hyannis, at 7pm.Read More
The Bay State: A Multicultural Landscape enjoyed its winter stay at The House of Seven Gables in Salem.
Read more about the exhibit in the excellent piece by Terry Date in the Salem News:
Chester found Fitzroy Alexander, 54, at a ceremony at the Immigrant Learning Center Inc. in Malden, where he was recognized as the Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014.
Alexander came to the U.S. at 16 years old and became a citizen 25 years ago. He’s the owner of Traditional Breads Inc., in Lynn, and employs 150 people.
Alexander said America means opportunity for those who work hard.
“It’s a land of opportunity — if you put your mind to it, anything is possible,” he said.
Alexander said he is biased toward Chester, a friend, and he holds Chester’s photo project in high esteem.
“I applaud it — having the stamina and integrity to really portray that person how he sees them,” Alexander said.
D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield Museums
March 22, 2016–September 25, 2016
"Black and white photography, also known as ‘monochrome’ photography, originated during the mid-nineteenth century and has pervaded to this day, particularly within the genre of documentary photography. This exhibit, drawn from the permanent collection of the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, explores the documentary photography genre, juxtaposed with the special exhibit, Photo-Secession: Painterly Masterworks of turn-of-the-Century Photography. Photography critic in the 1970s, John Szarkowski, distilled images down to two categories, “mirrors and windows” stating that “mirrors reveal information about the artist while windows tell more about the world.” This exhibit exemplifies his philosophy and underscores the impact of black and white which elevates a picture beyond simply being “news”; monochrome photography has the power to suggest cultural and critical significance."
WCCA TV13 produced Soapbox show is hosted by WCCA Executive Director Mauro DePasquale. Mauro's guests are Olga Kwasniewski and Olta Kodra. The topic of discussion is immigration.
Olga and Olta represent The Bay State: A Multicultural Landscape with their inspiring personal perspectives.
The Bay State: A Multicultural Landscape — Photographs of New Americans by Mark Chester was introduced in the Scandinavian Cultural Center's Nordic Hall to a diverse group, some in attendance participants in the project and others observers. The photographer, introduced by the SCC's cultural director, Christina Mealy, spoke of his inspiration and his mission to amass portraits of naturalized US citizens from the many countries of the world who reside in Massachusetts, for a book and exhibition, an example on display in the hall, that, with the book's publication, will launch at the New Bedford Art Museum. Three of the portrait subjects were invited up to the podium and each spoke movingly of the work and reasons for being involved.
Westy Egmont, Boston College professor and director of BC's Immigrant Integration Lab then gave an informative talk "exploring the history and current story of those who started life again in the States and made America the 'nation of nations' we know," entitled “Up the Golden Stairs: Dreams of Being American”.
“As you know it took him 30 years to become a citizen. He was so excited and we celebrated at a nearby bistro…. I do want to tell you that you made him feel so special that day. You added so much excitement to the day, signalling him out and taking pictures that he was so proud of and showed everyone. He even remembered that you told a woman who wanted to take pictures that this was a private session. He would tell everyone that the pictures were going into a professional book about immigration.”
Luis Edward Lozano-Pazmino of Hyannis was born in Ecuador in 1930 and became a citizen of the United States in 2013. He passed away on December 31, 2013 during a visit to Ecuador.
The Bay State: A Multicultural Landscape is a moving and powerful exhibit of more than 300 newly naturalized U.S. citizens who are residents of the Commonwealth. These inspirational photographic portraits create a visual archive celebrating the diversity of Massachusetts’ citizens from 160 countries around the globe. A Multicultural Landscape enriches the viewer by sharing the vast cultural resources and rich ethnic heritage of the Bay State’s 351 towns and cities.