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Walk-Bye, Jersey City Public Library, Welcome Home present refugee experience in photography exhibition

Outdoor display features original photos of local teens

Catalina Aranguren, founder of Walk-Bye by Argia Photography, continues her series of outdoor art installations in Jersey City. Her latest project will be produced in conjunction with Welcome Home, a community-based nonprofit organization that provides educational, employment and material support for refugees and asylees.

The photo exhibit will showcase original work by members of the organization’s Photography Club taught by Jenny Brover. The show will be unveiled on Wednesday, December 9th at 4PM at The Five Corners branch of the Jersey City Free Public Library as part of its celebration of Human Rights Day.

This marks the third installment of Aranguren’s vision to create an opportunity for Jersey City residents to display and view local artwork in a safe manner during the current Covid-19 pandemic. Past exhibits included outdoor shows in June and October of this year held in various Jersey City parks. For this exhibit, Aranguren was inspired by the December commemorations of Human Rights Day (December 10) and International Human Solidarity Day (December 20) as well as Welcome Home’s work in Jersey City.

“Welcome Home was the natural choice as a partner in this endeavor,” said Aranguren. “They have been a staple in Jersey City for the past four years, promoting the idea that communities should embrace and support its newest residents such as the teens in Photography Club. Thanks to the partnership with Alain Mentha and Jenny Brover of Welcome Home, we were able to create an outlet specifically for its members to share their artistic expressions with their new neighbors and friends.”

“We were thrilled when Catalina approached us with this idea,” said Alain Mentha, executive director of Welcome Home. “Her commitment to bolstering our community through her art aligns perfectly with Photography Club’s purpose of engaging its teen members and giving them a forum to express themselves in their new home.”

“The local public library is one of the few institutions where everyone in a community can access education, entertainment and career resources,” said Jeffrey Trzeciak, director of Jersey City Free Public Library. “Covid restrictions have kept us from gathering in the usual ways, so we were pleased to find a way to partner with a community effort such as Catalina’s latest outdoor Walk Bye installation.”

For more information on the exhibit and artists, please follow @Walk_Bye on Instagram.

About Walk-Bye

WALK-BYE, founded in 2020 by Catalina Aranguren, is a collective outdoor art exhibition of original work, visible to the public from a distance. The installation strives to bring artists and community members together to create a sense of connectivity during the current pandemic.

About Welcome Home

Welcome Home is a community-based nonprofit organization that provides educational, employment and material support for people who came to this country as refugees and asylees, and who are living in the Jersey City area. Welcome Home operates from the philosophy that all people deserve the dignity of a decent home, and the resources they need to make a better life for themselves with the support of the community as they adjust to their new environment. The organization’s mission is to facilitate its clients’ successful integration into the community by augmenting and extending services provided by resettlement agencies. Welcome Home helps clients secure housing and furnishings, employment, and food. It also provides regular English language instruction, homework help and cultural grounding.

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