Arlington Arts’ Art on the ART Bus Presents Gail Rebhan Immigration/Assimilation

By Editorial Team on February 25, 2019
Courtesy of Arlington Arts.
Opening Reception: Thursday, March 21 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm

On display February 23 at the Bozman Government Center.

Collecting stories and artifacts representing the immigration, forced migration, and assimilation of a broad spectrum of Arlington residents, artist Gail Rebhan has created powerful photo collages which highlight that – save for Native Americans – we are a country of immigrants. The exhibit Immigration/Assimilation launches the 23rd bus of Arlington Arts’ Art on the ART Bus program, engaging commuters with original artwork placed on Arlington Transit (ART)buses. The installation will be aboard one ART Bus from March 14, 2019 thru Summer 2020. They also will be on display in the lobby of the Bozman Government Center starting February 23rd (end date TBA). In addition to a hi-res image of the panel above, also attached with this email (for ease of review) is a word document detailing all six of the stories included on Gail Rebhan’s work.

A free opening reception and artists’ talk will occur on Thursday (5:30 -7:30pm), March 21st , in the lobby of the Ellen M. Bozman Government Center at 2100 Clarendon Blvd, hosted by JBG SMITH (capacity is limited; Free tickets available via Eventbrite). While en route as the #41 bus, the Art on the ART bus will make a slightly prolonged stop just outside at 6:39pm. Please take this rare opportunity to see the artwork displayed on the bus!

The stories are varied and fascinating: from a Dominican who went from being a health club laundress to a Business Systems Analyst; to a family journey from indentured servitude in London, to plantation owners, to sharecropping, to real estate wealth. Artist Gail Rebhan has fashioned these remarkable stories and artifacts from six Arlington residents and digitally assembled into thirteen panels that will be displayed inside the bus. The artist’s goal with this project is to convey a message of tolerance and to promote understanding. The subjects for the project were identified with assistance from the Arlington County Department of Human Services.

About the artist:
Gail Rebhan is a Washington, DC based photographer and Professor of Photography at Northern Virginia Community College. She has an M.F.A. from California Institute of the Arts and an undergraduate degree from Antioch College. Integral to her various bodies of work is an interest in time and change. She often constructs a conceptual framework that uses sequencing or grids. Much of her art is autobiographical, using her family and herself as emblematic of middle-class, American family. Central to her concerns is an examination of gender and generational roles. With humor, she points out inconsistencies, faults, and problematic behavior from a social, cultural, and emotional point-of-view. She has received several commissions to create photo-collages examining the cultural history of specific sites throughout the Washington, DC metro area.

Rebhan’s recent work on immigration and assimilation initially examined her parents’ fleeing European anti-Semitism in the 1930s and relocating to the United States. This work expanded to include other families. Much of her artwork is an examination of how physical surroundings and family relationships are products of history. Exhibitions include the Lentos Kunstmuseum, Linz, Austria; American University Museum-Katzen Arts Center, Washington, DC; and Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, Oregon. Collections include Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University, New Haven, CT; DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Washington, DC; and Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC.