‘A Day Without Immigrants,’ designed to demonstrate the impact of immigrants on U.S. culture, is a lasting movement in the art world.
Starting Feb. 16, the Davis Museum at Wellesley College will not display art created by immigrants until after President’s Day on Feb. 20. Art curators will cover spots designated for immigrants’ art pieces with black cloths or remove them completely. They will also place labels in their place saying “created by an immigrant,” or “given by an immigrant.” Other museums who want to follow suit can download the labels, as well.
The museum created the movement, called “Art-Less,” to highlight the effect immigrants have on the art world. By removing the works, the museum said it is honoring their “invaluable gifts.”
“We have removed or cloaked these works to demonstrate symbolically what the Davis Museum would look like without their contributions to our collections and to Wellesley College,” they said.
Accordingly, approximately 120 pieces of art were hidden. Museum officials say immigrants either created or donated nearly 20 percent of the pieces in the permanent collections.
A Day Without Immigrants
Businesses nationwide joined arms on Thursday to demonstrate what the country would be like without immigrants. Immigrant-run and created business shut their doors for the day, and immigrants refused to spend money.
According to the National Restaurant Association, more than 14 million people work in the restaurant industry. Of those people, 23 percent are immigrants and approximately 1.1 million are undocumented workers.
One business owner, Rick Bayless of the Frontera Grill restaurant chain, closed several restaurants. Furthermore, he promised to donate a portion of his profits from the open restaurants to an immigrant and refugee rights group.
“What really makes our country great is the diversity we experience here,” he said. “I can’t say enough about the lack of respect and the fear-mongering and hate-mongering that I’m sensing around us these days.”
The emphasis on immigration support came after President Donald Trump tried to enact an immigration ban on Muslims. Though the government did not fulfill the ban, Trump said he will revise and reattempt the ban in coming weeks.