Working America portraits

“Working America” Photo Exhibit to Open at HCSCC

The Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit called Working America, a display of 40 brilliant full-color portraits of Americans at their jobs by photographer Sam Comen, at the Hjemkomst Center Jan. 27 through March 17.

The portraits and interviews in “Working America” explore various themes, including the significance of work, the differences in treatment among immigrant nationalities, the political relevance of labor migrants, the intergenerational inheritance of skills, the adaptation of new skills to seize opportunities in a new land, and the relationship between a nation’s identity and the identities of its individuals. The book meditates on belonging and becoming American and poetically recognizes the lives and contributions of working men and women as part of our country’s collective experience.

Comen, a native Californian, has always found inspiration in his home state and the places that define us. He has dedicated his career to capturing themes of American identity, community-building, immigration, democracy, and social justice through his photography. His work has been widely recognized and collected by prestigious institutions such as the Library of Congress and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, as well as by private collectors. Comen’s photographic expertise is regularly sought after by brands and publications from different parts of the world. As an artist, he is interested in reviving the historical portrait approach used by famous photographers such as Eugène Atget, August Sander, and Irving Penn to study national identity, work, and class in their times.

Working America is a program of ExhibitsUSA, a national division of Mid-America Arts Alliance and The National Endowment for the Arts. This activity is funded in part by grants from the Lake Region Arts Council and Minnesota State Arts Board through a Minnesota State Legislative appropriation, the F-M Area Foundation, the Alex Stern Family Foundation, and The Arts Partnership with the Cities of Fargo, Moorhead, and West Fargo.

Regular admission is $12 adults, $11 seniors, $9 college students, $8 youth 5-17, free to 4 and under, active military, and HCSCC members. Free to all Tuesday nights 5-8pm.