The New Americans
Photographs by Jill Enfield
May 23, 2013-September 1, 2013
Opening reception June 20, 6 – 7:30 PM
As the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, who escaped Germany in 1939 to open camera stores in Florida, Jill Enfield has always been passionate about the immigrant experience.
A series of her photographs, The New Americans, is featured in the Griffin Museum at the Stoneham Theatre in Stoneham, MA, May 23 through July 23. It runs parallel to the theater’s productions “These Shining Lives” and “The Marvelous Wonderettes.”
A reception is June 20, 6-7:30 p.m.
A fine art and commercial photographer, Enfield spent 20 years focusing on still lives and landscapes. Recently, she has turned her attention to portraits.
“As a protest against the profiling and prejudice that has emerged over the last decade, I have been photographing immigrants with the notion that all people who relocate to the United States enrich our hosting culture with their own foreign experience,” Enfield says.
“Just as the immigrants of yesteryear were ignored or treated with suspicion, so, too, are the new Americans,” she says. “We make the same mistakes based on ignorance and fail to perceive the potential of adventurous risk-takers who are more likely than most to transcend the odds and achieve something great. With these strange newcomers arrive new delicacies, art, fashion, architecture, and thought. Every culture evolves because new ideas come in from cultures far away.”
Enfield is working with Mary Panzer, an internationally recognized scholar of photography and its history, on a series about new Americans. Panzer interviews the subjects of Enfield’s portraits, which will be shown at Ellis Island in NY in the fall of 2013.
Enfield has taught hand coloring and non-silver techniques at schools in New York City and throughout the US and Europe. Her work is in collections and has appeared in many magazines around the world.
One of her images was among 42 selected from thousands through the Here Is New York Archive to commemorate the fifth anniversary of 9/11.
The Stoneham Theatre is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 1-6 p.m., and one hour before each theater performance. The gallery can be accessed through the Stoneham Theatre's lobby at 395 Main Street in Stoneham, MA.
The Stoneham Theatre is a professional nonprofit regional theater that presents eight shows a year. For more information, visit www.stonehamtheatre.org.