September 25, 2018 by Press Release
The Warehouse Arts District Nabs Internationally-acclaimed Artist Tom Kiefer’s “El Sueño Americano” Exhibit
The Photographic Fine Art Exhibit Makes its East Coast Debut at the ArtsXchange in St. Petersburg, FL
St. Petersburg, FL (September 18, 2018) – Tom Kiefer is a photographic artist who was working as a Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) janitor to pay his bills.
Kiefer was disheartened by the amount of wasted unopened packaged food items confiscated from undocumented migrants apprehended in the desert and brought to the CBP processing center in Ajo, Arizona. Without the blessing of his superiors, he began to rifle through the trash bins to collect the packaged food and then donate it to a local food shelter.
Something remarkable happened to Kiefer as he began his adventures in dumpster diving. What he found in the dumpster was more than just the cans of tuna fish, baby food, and Snicker bars that he expected to see. He found other highly-personal confiscated items that were being trashed and became deeply affected by this discovery.
“I think, for me, to see these objects thrown away like trash, just felt wrong. The wallets with personal identification and credit cards still intact, the medications, toy cars, rosary beads, bibles, and other religious artifacts, they just seemed too important to be at the bottom of a dumpster,” said Kiefer.
He felt compelled to start collecting these items en masse, unaware of how they would emerge into works of art. However, he found the objects began to call out to him and tell their story. Kiefer said, “I started bringing them home, even though at first, I didn’t know what I was going to do with them. But then the art began to unfold, and it felt like these confiscated, discarded belongings were telling deeply personal and heartbreaking stories about the people crossing our borders.”
Kiefer’s photographic exhibit “El Sueño Americano” (The American Dream), is a remarkable depiction of the choices undocumented migrants’ make when packing their most valuable items to journey across the border. This visually stunning and powerful photographic art exhibit will have its Florida debut at the ArtsXchange located in the Warehouse Arts District of St. Petersburg, FL.
Diane Morton, Executive Director of the Warehouse Arts District Association and ArtsXchange, knew this was an exhibit that the Tampa Bay community needed to see and made every effort possible to bring this thought-provoking exhibit to the ArtsXchange.
Morton believes certain works of art are so compelling that once seen, they alter your perspective and remain in your conscious long after viewed. “The photography in Tom’s El Sueño Americano exhibit lingers and asks the viewer to pause for contemplation on the human experience behind the word immigrant,” added Morton.
Kiefer hopes his work lends another layer to the coverage and stories we hear in the media about the immigrants who come to the United States.
Composed of 64 small and four larger photographs of found objects, “El Sueño Americano” offers a glimpse into the humanity of all people looking for a better life.
El Sueño Americano by Tom Kiefer
Private Donor Preview Party – October 11th 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Second Saturday ArtWalk Opening (FREE) – October 13th 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Private WADA Members Only Viewing Party – October 25th 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
515 22nd St. S.,
St. Petersburg, FL 33712
Exhibit is open October 8 – November 5, 2018
Gallery Hours: Thursday- Saturday 10am – 5 pm
Phone Number: 727-826-7211
$10 ticket/Free for WADA Members
Please visit https://www.warehouseartsdistrictstpete.org/Tom-Kiefer-Exhibit for more information on Tom Kiefer and the El Sueño Americano exhibit at the ArtsXchange.
Sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times
Sponsorship Opportunities available.
About the Warehouse Arts District Association
The Warehouse Arts District Association (WADA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit arts organization dedicated to building and sustaining a vibrant arts community within and around the Warehouse Arts District in downtown St. Petersburg. Spanning from 1st Avenue North to 10th Avenue South and 16th Street to 31st Street, the Warehouse Arts District includes the Deuces Live Main Street and is comprised of a thriving community of over 300 businesses that support both the artistic outreach of the organization and the community revitalization. WADA employs a broad spectrum of tools, including marketing, advocacy, community stimulation, and educational programming to support the success of artists and community. The Education Center will serve all citizens, particularly those in the Midtown area, with accessible health, wellness, and art classes. For more information, please visit, warehouseartsdistrictstpete.com.
About the ArtsXchange
The ArtsXchange, a project of the Warehouse Arts District Association, is an artistic enclave with over 50,000 square feet of warehouse space that is being renovated into affordable working studios, galleries, classrooms, and performance space. ArtsXchange tenants are from all mediums with most spaces doubling as galleries open to the public on the Second Saturday of every month and a focus on providing arts education to underserved populations. For more info please visit, warehouseartsdistrictstpete.org/ArtsXchange.
Artist Website http://www.tomkiefer.com/
Artist Instagram Page: @tomkiefer.photographer
WADA Instagram Page: @warehouseartssp
WADA Facebook Page: @WarehouseArtsDistrictStPete