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At Windermere Real Estate

Columbia Center for the Arts curates a monthly art exhibition at the Hood River Windermere Real Estate Office at 315 Oak Street in downtown Hood River, OR.

May 2019 Features:

The Hands That Feed Us
By Laurel Sparks

Artist Statement/Bio

“The Hands that Feed Us” was born from sleepless nights tossing and turning in the summer of 2018. The atmosphere was thick with fear and rising discrimination circulating throughout the media regarding immigration. I lay awake, wondering how I could use my voice to express that we are all more alike than we are different.
We all have the same fundamental needs as humans; we need food, water, shelter, and above all else, love.

I grew up in a family that acknowledged individuals by their merit, not from where they came from or what they looked like. Being inclusive and kind to others is something my mother instilled in me from a very young age, a lesson that’s always stuck with me.

How could I relay my message of “we are all more alike than we are different”? I had a camera and the pear farm I grew up on; one of the many orchards in the valley that makes Hood River, Oregon, the largest producer of pears worldwide. As a child I grew up watching the beautiful dance of hands that grow, cultivate and harvest this delicious fruit. As an adult I worked in many professional kitchens, which have an equally beautiful dance of culture, cuisine and unwavering diversity. 3 AM thoughts grew to something more profound than I could have ever imagined.

As a young, Caucasian American of British and Irish decent, born to an American mother and a Canadian father, I have been at a loss of words to express my feelings of disbelief, seeing people so divided when we are all so much alike. A farm to table photo essay was born, to celebrate the extraordinary people who feed America. All of the colors and the cultures from the cuisine to the people who make food happen.

I am a proud immigrant. I am a proud American.

Where did your ancestors journey from?

All of the 2019 Gallery Exhibits are generously sponsored by Cathedral Ridge Winery and Windermere Real Estate.