The Bay State: A Multicultural Landscape

The Bay State: A Multicultural Landscape

Color Magazine, September 2015

Malden High School proudly presents “The Bay State: A Multicultural Landscape – Photographs of New Americans.” This exhibit of inspirational portraits, by nationally known photographer Mark Chester, offer a moving display of more than 300 newly naturalized U.S. citizens, all of whom are residents of the Commonwealth.

Malden High is located at 75 Salem St. in Malden. General viewing is available when the school is open to events, parent nights and School Council meetings.

“Mark Chester’s book captures the new Massachusetts,” states Dana Brown, principal of Malden High School. “The project tells a million stories without many written words; a very compelling compilation by Mr. Chester.”

The Exhibit

Mark Chester’s powerful photographs create a visual archive that celebrates the broad diversity of Massachusettscitizens, who hail from nearly 170 of the 196 countries around the globe. The photographs of these New Americans enrich the viewer by sharing the vast cultural resources and rich ethnic heritage of the Bay State’s 351 towns and cities.

“My grandparents and father were born in Belarus, Russia. I am the son of an immigrant,” Chester states. His curiosity and desire to photograph this community of residents led to the creation of the non-profit Cultural Diversity in Massachusetts Project, endorsed by the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition.

MIRA Executive Director Eva Millona sees a dual purpose in this powerful exhibit, stating, “These photographs of citizens of various ethnic heritage will not only offer an insightful and educational overview to all other citizens of the Bay State,but will also bring attention in promoting and enhancing immigrants’ integration.”

Chester’s cultural-diversity collection is featured in the “Dreams of Freedom” exhibit that began on March 10 at the Prudential Center’s Skywalk Observatory in Boston. The Bay State: A Multicultural Landscape will travel throughout the Commonwealth, in various venues-libraries, cultural centers, and public and municipal buildings-from 2015 to 2018.

To date, 15 exhibits of A Multicultural Landscape are scheduled during 2015 and 2016 at public locations in Bay State communities. The book will be launched in January of 2016 at the New Bedford Art Museum/Artworks!

The Photographer

Mark Chester has been a professional photographer since 1972. He was director of photography and staff photographer at the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, in New York City. His photographs are in the permanent collections of the museums in Baltimore, Brooklyn, Cape Cod, Corcoran, Denver, Portland (Maine), and San Francisco, among other communities across the country.

Chester created, produced and photographed the book, No In America (Taylor, 1986), a tongue-in-cheek collection of photographs of “No” signs. Previously, he photographed Charles Kuralt’s book, Dateline America (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1979). His most recent book, the award-winning Twosomes (Un-Gyve Press), was released in 2011, and the touring exhibits of photographs from the book continue to travel the globe.

‘The Bay State: A Multicultural Landscape – Photographs of New Americans’ is on Display September 24-October 21 At Malden High School,