Gisela Romero shares immigration journey

When artist Gisela Romero emigrated from her native country of Venezuela five years ago, she chose to take a table runner with her as her remembrance of home. In a powerful exhibition at The Art & History Museums of Maitland (Florida), the visual symbolism of the table runner becomes the basis for the story of Romero’s experience, along with her meditations on the experiences of all who are compelled to leave their home countries. 

“When I immigrated to the United States, I did it with just one suitcase,” Gisela Romero said. “Inside it, I put an object that I felt would link my old life with the new life that was about to begin, an object that was in my old house and that would be in my new house. To connect with what I was leaving and what awaited me, I chose a table runner. It was easy to fold and fit inside the suitcase, it was also something that was always present on the family table, a simple object that I felt had absorbed all the conversations and love that took place around it, it became a special symbol of my family’s unity.”

Romero, now an American citizen, has constructed a compelling narrative through written texts, textiles, drawings, and installation. A Constant Goodbye: The Table Runner Stories of Gisela Romero, examines the human drama of immigration by embodying the wide range of raw emotions experienced by individuals when they decide to leave their country of origin to start a new life in an unfamiliar place. 

These feelings, powerfully represented through Romero’s work include nostalgia, intense change, challenge, gratitude, hope, frustration, anger, confusion, emptiness, fear, guilt, pain, empathy, Joy, courage, and compassion. The exhibition consists of four parts, a progression of her narrative, that begins in gallery one with Fragmentation and travels through The Procession and The Blank Page to wind up in gallery four with Acceptance

“I dedicate this exhibition, this body of work, to all the people who have had to leave their countries of origin, with joy in one hand and sadness in the other, in search of a better life,” Gisela Romero said. “For those who have been forced to leave their families and have had to walk thousands of miles to reach their destination, or those who have had better luck and were able to get to a new country by other less harsh and violent means, the experience of emigrating is a constant goodbye.” 

Artist Events during the exhibition period of “A Constant Goodbye”

All events are at the Art & History Museums of Maitland at 231 W. Packwood Avenue, Maitland, FL unless otherwise noted.

During the duration of her exhibition, Gisela Romero will be an Artist in Action at the Art & History Museums of Maitland. Her studio is number 6 and while she is in residence it is open to the public to visit!

Learn more about our Artist in Action program here: https://artandhistory.org/programming-education/education-2/residencies/aia/

1/17/24 & 1/24/24 |  Saturdays | 10am-2pm | $240 + $15 Materials Fee

Experimental Drawing Workshop with Gisela Romero

This is a 2-day workshop that spans 2 weekends at our Cottage at Lake Lily. Expand the limits of traditional drawing using different techniques, materials, surfaces, and formats. Lose the fear of the blank sheet and produce a series of drawings while learning about contemporary artists that draw as a means of expression.

More information here: https://artandhistory.charityproud.org/EventRegistration/Index/13634

1/26/24 | Friday | 6:30-9pm | Free

Opening Reception for the Exhibition

Celebrate the opening of this new contemporary art exhibition with music, a food truck, cash bar, and our featured artist on our beautiful National Historic Landmark campus! Featuring The Table Runner Stories of Gisela Romero.

1/31/24 | Wednesday | 6:00pm – 7pm | Free

A&H Conversations with Gisela Romero

A&H Conversations invites lifetime learners like you to discuss fascinating topics anchored in Central Florida history, arts, and culture. New themes are presented monthly by visiting subject matter experts.This month, we’ll hear from gallery artist and two-time A&H Artist in Action Gisela Romero.

More information here: https://artandhistory.org/ah-conversations/

2/28/2024 | Wednesday | 6:00pm – 7pm | Free

A&H Conversations: The Table Runner Series

A&H Conversations invites lifetime learners like you to discuss fascinating topics anchored in Central Florida history, arts, and culture. New themes are presented monthly by visiting subject matter experts. This month we partner with Open Scene to present a reading of stories from Gisela Romero’s Tablerunner Stories.

More information here: https://artandhistory.org/ah-conversations/

About The Art & History Museums of Maitland

A&H is a premier cultural destination and community gathering place in Central Florida, just 15 minutes from downtown Orlando. A&H is a group of sophisticated attractions that includes a contemporary art museum, three interactive history museums, and a stunning campus recognized as Greater Orlando’s only National Historic Landmark.

A&H also features a community art school nestled among its beautiful gardens and unique architecture.

Founded in 1937 as an artists’ retreat, our space still fulfills this mission today with multiple artist residencies serving both local and international artists. A&H provides the Central Florida community with many activities every month, including free family programming, affordable site tours, and free presentations on art and history from visiting experts.

Learn more and plan your visit at www.artandhistory.org.

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