CROSSING CULTURES: Family, Memory and Displacement

at the Cambridge Art Association, 2019

Curated by Claudia Ruiz Gustafson


About the Exhibition:

Crossing Cultures is an art exhibition about family, memory, displacement and identity from the point of view of six visual artists with roots in five regions: Asia (India and Iran), South America (Peru), North America (Mexico), The Caribbean (Cuba and Haiti) and Europe (Germany). Through the use of vintage family photographs, and the use of different mediums: photography, painting, mixed media and video, these artists uncover their family stories and create complex, multidimensional narratives to reflect upon what they have left behind while shifting countries and at the same time honoring and remembering family traditions and vanishing ways of life.

We are a nation of people who have come from around the globe and have experienced loss and transformation as we make our way in a new place. A place where diverse backgrounds, political beliefs, faiths, identities, and ideas come together to create something new. This exhibition embodies and celebrates this ongoing transformation in what it means to find home at a time where migration across the world is at an all-time high.


About the Artists:

Astrid Reischwitz

Astrid Reischwitz is a Boston-based photographer with roots in Germany whose work explores the possibilities of storytelling from a personal perspective. Her projects include intimate views of private spaces and reflections on her own history and values. Using keepsakes from family life, old photographs and storytelling strategies, she builds a visual world of memory, identity, place, and home. Astrid has been four times selected as a Top 50 Photolucida Critical Mass Photographer and is currently represented by Gallery Kayafas.

Claudia Ruiz Gustafson

Claudia Ruiz Gustafson is a Peruvian Latinx visual artist and curator whose practice engages photography, assemblage, poetry and artist book making. Her work is mainly autobiographical and self-reflective; her cross-cultural experience and Peruvian heritage deeply inform her art making. She is a 2021 Massachusetts Cultural Artist Fellow and a 2021 Photolucida Critical Mass Top 50.  She holds a BA in Communications (Comunicación para el Desarrollo) from Universidad de Lima, and a Professional Photography Certificate from Kodak Interamericana de Perú. She currently lives and works in Massachusetts.

Nilou Moochhala

Originally from Mumbai/India, Nilou Moochhala’s visual practice has been channeled into examining issues of cross-cultural change and transformation through the use of language, image, and memorabilia to create social and political narratives. She has exhibited in numerous galleries from Boston to Brooklyn, and her pandemic-inspired Virus Series is part of National Women’s History Museum. She was selected as the 2021 Artist-in-Residence for the Arlington Commission on Arts and Culture, and has been a recipient of numerous grants from the Mass Cultural Council and New England Foundation for the Arts. Her public art projects have been profiled in the Boston Globe, WBUR, Artscope, and Art Outdoors.

Vivian Poey

Vivian Poey is a visual artist and a Professor at Lesley University, College of Art and Design in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her work examines a number of issues ranging from migration and cultural assimilation to the passing of time. Vivian is American, born in Mexico of Cuban parents and lived in Guatemala and Colombia before moving to the U.S. This complicated trajectory informs all of her art, which serves as a method of investigation, and includes photography, installation and performance.

Shabnam Jannesari

Shabnam Jannesari is an Iranian artist who received her MFA with distinction in Studio Art at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. She is a recipient of the Distinguished Art Fellowship at the University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth and the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant, Canada in 2020. She incorporates both drawing and painting to explore the memories and nostalgia of distant intimacies in her life through narrative. She illuminates the plight of the Iranian woman – censored by an overreaching patriarchy.  Shabnam carefully composes the figures which empowers the complex reality of Iranian female identity.

Nicolas Hyacinthe

Nicolas Hyacinthe is a multidisciplinary artist born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and now based in Boston, MA. He studied photography and film at Emerson College where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Film Production. During his childhood he witnessed his homeland endure drastic political and cultural changes. Nicolas’s art and activism is fueled by his unique experience and perspective straddling the chasm within the worlds in which he has lived, loved, created, and confronted. He is passionate about speaking up for those whose voices have been stiffed, oppressed and marginalized.


Crossing Cultures at the Cambridge Art Association:

Art Review: Crossing Cultures: Family, Memory and Displacement by Suzanne Révy of What Will You Remember





















CROSSING CULTURES: Family, Memory and Displacement 2.0

at the Rhode Island Center for Photographic Arts, 2020

Curated by Claudia Ruiz Gustafson


Crossing Cultures at the Rhode Island Center for Photographic Arts:

Installation Video:




















CROSSING CULTURES: Family, Memory and Displacement 3.0

at the Fort Point Art Gallery, 2021

Curated by Claudia Ruiz Gustafson


Virtual Opening Reception and Artists Talk:




Framingham: City of Dreams, Under the Same Flag, and A Community Write-in Wall

at Project B Gallery, 2021

Curated and produced by Claudia Ruiz Gustafson


Framingham: City of Dreams is a photo exhibit featuring 16 residents of Framingham who have contributed to making the city a better place for all of us: Alicia and David Blais (Daniel’s Table), Andrea Dooley (Framingham Bakery Co), Brendan Rodrigues (student at McAuliffe Charter Middle School), Brigitte Griffin (environmental activist Transition Framingham), Cristian Barragan (Saxonville Mills Cafe & Roastery), David Stefanini and mother Angie (Waverly Market), Dr. Shivang Patel (Metrowest Pharmacy), Edgar Baltazar (El Pikante Foods), Elana Gelfand (Junior at Framingham High School), Francisco Jaquez (N+1 Cyclery), Herb Chasan (Hoops and Homework), Judith Grove (local activist, skate park on Dudley Road), Kenneth Weiss (environmental activist, Mike Croci (environmental activist Transition Framingham), Nicole Messier Doak (Framingham Coronavirus Community Outreach), Priscila Sousa (activist in many important local organizations). The photographs in this exhibition and the words that accompany them aim to celebrate the contributions and life stories of these neighbors, many of them immigrants, as integral members of our community.

Under the Same Flag, an art exhibition juried by Claudia Ruiz Gustafson and Angela Ackerman is a multi disciplinary art exhibit that addresses concepts of identity, belonging, community, diversity and other pressing contemporary issues. This exhibit also aims to celebrate America as a mosaic of the world’s cultures. The participating artists are Alan Strassman, Bayda Asbridge & Lynn Simons, Cathy Weaver Taylor, Iris Grimm, Joni Lohr, Maria Servellon, Marissa Burns, Melvin Markowitz, Neil Horsky, Nicci Meadow, Nilou Moochhala, Paul Angiolillo, Siddharth Choudhary and Zammco.

Along with the exhibitions Framingham: City of Dreams and Under the Same Flag, we will have one wall, A Community Write-In, where visitors can post their messages. Have something to say? Say it!

Press Release


Press coverage:

Metrowest Daily News by Lillian EdenFramingham gallery spotlights residents and contemporary issues with new art exhibit

Metrowest Daily News by Art Illman: Framingham High School and local artists honored at the Mill Contemporary Art gallery

Metrowest Daily News by Lillian Eden: Framingham exhibit aims to spotlight residents, spark conversation




Framingham: City of Dreams 2.0

at Open Spirit Art Gallery, 2021

Curated and produced by Claudia Ruiz Gustafson


Framingham: City of Dreams at Open Spirit:

Framingham: City of Dreams at Danforth Art Museum, Beyond Our Walls: