As the immigrant rights movement rages on with the dramatic release of the Dream 9 from an Arizona detention facility, a local exhibit in SanTana will be focused in on artwork by undocumented students.
Happening Friday evening at Libreria Martinez de Chapman University, the Orange County DREAM Team (OCDT) presented event seeks to raise funds for an annual scholarship and other school-related costs.
"You truly feel like an artist when you sell your first piece or have your work exhibited," says OCDT member and exhibit co-founder Victor Cruz.
Many high school and college students will experience that sense of validation this weekend after having answered the call for submissions two months ago. The feeling, itself, is a familiar one for Cruz.
"As undocumented artists, there wasn't much support out there," he says. Three years ago, the college student decided to team with Ruben Barreto to launch the Dream Art Exhibit to open a much-needed space.
This year's event will feature photography documenting local activist actions in addition to portraits by artists. Not all art on display will be directly movement related and citizen allies are among those participating for the first time. All proceeds from raffle sales for exhibit pieces will go directly to the artists to help pursue their educational and artist endeavors.
The OC DREAM Team will also be auctioning off their legendary, battle-tested logo canvas painting that has accompanied them from marches in Arizona to hunger strikes in Los Angeles. An anonymous matching pledge of $1,000 is being offered up as an added incentive to raise funds for the organization's annual scholarship.
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"The main focus of the night," Cruz says, "is empowerment through art."
Third annual Dream Art Exhibit takes place at Libreria Martinez de Chapman University, 216 N. Broadway, Santa Ana. Fri., 6-10 p.m. Free!
Follow Gabriel San Román on Twitter @dpalabraz