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

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!



View slideshow with installation and reception images.

Read press coverage:

Metrowest Daily News: Framingham gallery spotlights residents and contemporary issues with new art exhibit, by Lillian Eden

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

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


CROSSING CULTURES: Family, Memory and Displacement 1.0

at the Cambridge Art Association

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 five visual artists with roots in four continents: Europe (Germany), Asia (India and Iran), South America (Peru) and North America and the Caribbean (Mexico and Cuba). 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 was a Top 50 Critical Mass Photographer in 2016 and is currently represented by Gallery Kayafas.


Claudia Ruiz Gustafson

Claudia Ruiz Gustafson is a Peruvian-born, Massachusetts-based visual artist, educator and curator. Her work is mainly autobiographical and self-reflective; her cross-cultural experience and Peruvian heritage deeply inform her art making. Claudia has exhibited in museums and galleries internationally. She teaches photo workshops in the Boston area and runs a portrait photography studio in the Boston area.


Nilou Moochhala

Nilou Moochhala’s visual practice (art & design) has been channeled into examining issues of cross-cultural change and transformation through collaging and assemblage techniques. Originally from Mumbai, she has been inspired to juxtapose found objects, memorabilia, and use of language to create social and political narratives. She has exhibited in numerous galleries from Cambridge to Brooklyn, and her pandemic-inspired Virus Series is part of the National Women’s History Museum. Nilou’s public art projects often include community interviews and involve street typography, wheat-paste murals, and other media.


Vivian Poey

Vivian Poey is a photographer and educator in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her work examines a number of issues ranging from migration and cultural assimilation to the passing of time. She 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

My paintings are expressions of my personal story, but they are also reflections on the life of Iranian, and suppressed, women in general. I address the complex reality of Iranian female identity from my unique personal experience. My work will consist of large, highly saturated oil paintings with figures that are roughly life size. Though I will work with paint, I am interested to maintain the immediacy of drawing to avoid rendering my forms too closely.


CROSSING CULTURES: Family, Memory and Displacement 2.0

at the Rhode Island Center for Photographic Arts

Curated by Claudia Ruiz Gustafson


Installation Video:


CROSSING CULTURES: Family, Memory and Displacement 3.0

at the Fort Point Art Gallery

Curated by Claudia Ruiz Gustafson

Zoom Reception: