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Purcell exhibit captures immigrant experience

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The Jan. 27 reception and gallery talk are free and open to the public.

Purcell’s husband, Antonio Hernandez, emigrated to the United States from Havana, Cuba in the fall of 2006. At 35 years old, his voyage to live with his new wife marked the first time he had left his homeland. Flying from Havana to Miami, Hernandez was allowed only one bag weighing 20 kilograms, and much was left behind. Upon arriving at his new home in Nashville, he tried to recreate familiar objects that reminded him of his native Cuba, his family and his culture.

Through her new exhibit, Purcell sought to capture the ways in which an immigrant interacts with his new domestic space.

“The photographs quietly reflect the process of individual integration and adaptation. Simple and still-life materials are used to represent the merging of two different cultures,” Purcell explained. “The photographs combine the familiar with the foreign … the title, ‘Neither Here,’ alludes to a third space of cultural hybridization.”

Purcell earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Vanderbilt University in 2004 and a Master of Fine Arts in photography from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2007. She has exhibited her work both nationally and internationally, in such places as New York, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, New Orleans and Nashville. Her photographs can be found in the permanent collection of the Pingyao International Photography Museum in Pingyao, China. She is currently a professor of photography and the photography lab director at Watkins College of Art and Design in Nashville and has served as an adjunct professor of art at Belmont University and Cumberland University.

Located in the June & Bill Heydel Fine Arts Center on the Cumberland University campus, the Adams Gallery is open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. There is no charge for admission.

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