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April 12, 2023

Inaugural Art Exhibition at SFC’s New Campus Opens to the Public

Guests at the opening of “Dare, Denounce and Draw.” Photos by AnnaMaria Leal (Instagram: @imprintedshadows; Twitter: @imprintedshadow)

On April 11, the SFC Art Gallery hosted a reception to mark the opening of “Dare, Denounce and Draw,” the first-ever art exhibition at St. Francis College’s new home, in Downtown Brooklyn. The exhibition features the work of Pedro X. Molina, an internationally recognized political cartoonist as well as the College’s current Franciscan Service Fellow in Human Rights.

Born in Nicaragua, Molina is well-known in his homeland, where his work regularly skewered the government of President Daniel Ortega, who, according to Human Rights Watch, has dismantled nearly all institutional checks on presidential power since taking office in 2007. Molina was forced to flee the country with his family in December 2018, when government forces raided and occupied the offices of his main media outlet, Confidencial.

At the opening reception of “Dare, Denounce and Draw,” Molina led an exhibition walk-through for students, faculty, staff and other attendees and provided commentary about his work. The cartoons by Molina currently on display in the SFC Art Gallery address contemporary political and social issues in Nicaragua, the United States and Iran.

Pedro X. Molina in the SFC Art Gallery. Behind him are some of his political cartoons.

“Pedro X. Molina dares to draw compelling political cartoons on pressing global issues that relate to human rights, democracy and climate. His denunciations of abuse of power, suppressions of freedom of expression, inhumane treatment of migrants and rising authoritarian tendencies globally are powerful critiques. We are delighted to have him as an SFC Fellow this academic year, allowing our students opportunities to gain important human rights insights from his artwork,” commented Dr. Reza Fakhari, SFC’s vice-president for internationalization and recent chair of Amnesty International USA.

“We are thrilled to have the gallery for visual art programming that will intersect with and support courses and curriculum across SFC’s academic divisions,” said Jennifer Wingate, professor of fine arts. “It’s a huge part of our interdisciplinary studies mission to launch this space. Our new exhibitions director, Bianca Mońa, has a year of exhibits and programming planned for next year on notions of home and Franciscan hospitality.”

The SFC Art Gallery is located on the fifth floor (Room 5010) of 179 Livingston Street in Downtown Brooklyn. “Dare, Denounce and Draw,” which is free and open to the public, will be on view through July 2023.

More About the Artist
Nicaraguan political cartoonist Pedro X. Molina is currently an Institute of International Education (IIE) Artist Protection Fund fellow and visiting critic in the Einaudi Center’s Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program at Cornell University. Previously, he was a resident artist at the Ithaca City of Asylum and, from 2019 to 2021, a visiting scholar at Ithaca College.

In 2019, Molina received the Maria Moors Cabot Prize, awarded by Columbia Journalism School for “career excellence and coverage of the Western Hemisphere that furthers inter-American understanding.” His work also has been recognized with the 2021 Gabo Award for Excellence, one of the most prestigious journalism prizes in Latin America. Molina is the first cartoonist to win the award, which is given by the foundation created by the late Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez.

Molina continues to produce cartoons for Confidencial, in Nicaragua, and is a regular contributor to Counterpoint. His work has been published in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Courrier International (France), among other publications.

Note: The artwork exhibited in the St. Francis College Art Gallery is meant to illuminate and educate, but it is neither a legal interpretation nor a statement of St. Francis College policy. The artwork represents the view of the original creator(s) and does not represent the views or opinions of St. Francis College. The mere appearance of artwork in the St. Francis College Art Gallery does not constitute an endorsement or approval by St. Francis College of the content, vision, ideas and/or opinions of the artist. St. Francis College does not make any representations or warranties with respect to the artwork and bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the artwork.

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