Kristy McCarthy

Guerrilla Gallery: Immigration

the Guerrilla Gallery : Immigration


The Spring 2017 installation of the Guerrilla Gallery, done in collaboration with the Harlem Art Collective and the community of East Harlem, is a direct response to the current administrations flurry of p0litical actions aimed at immigrants, women, the LGBTQ community, and the environment. The wall celebrates the beauty and richness that immigrants have brought to our neighborhood and our country as a whole.

The wall consists of three sections: a mural designed and painted by members of the collective depicting a woman with butterflies, feathers, and flowers in her hair; an immigrant man; and a visual representation of mother nature, laying in the mouth of the Missouri River as a white dove and a war plane fly overhead. The plane is releasing agent orange, destroying and contaminating the beauty below.

The middle section is a public, outdoor gallery that invites passersby to display their art free of censorship or discrimination; and the last section is an interactive photo collage mural of a monarch butterfly, the international symbol for migration, whose wings are filled with the images of the immigrants that make up the fabric of this community. Passersby are invited to take their picture with the wings as if they themselves are the butterfly. Throughout the entire mural are hundreds of hand painted butterflies made out of recycled aluminum cans that passersby were invited to make during the installation of the mural.