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About Prism Gallery and Prism International Gallery

Prism Gallery
Located in the lower level of the Festival Conference and Student Center, Prism gallery is dedicated to exhibiting works emphasizing aspects of diversity, including areas of culture, religion, gender and sexuality.

Prism International Gallery
Located in the upper level of the Festival Conference and Student Center, Prism International gallery is dedicated to exhibiting works that explore global culture.

Prism Galleries are open during normal building hours.

On Exhibit in Prism Gallery:

North Korean Refugee Youth Art Exhibition
Curator: Shin Ji Kang, Assistant Professor of Education, James Madison University
Exhibit Dates: 10/12/15 - 1/18/16
The North Korean Refugee Youth Art Exhibition showcases youth artwork from the Yeomyung School in Seoul, South Korea.

Notes from the Curator, Dr. Shin Ji Kang

These artworks were created by North Korean refugee students as a part of art therapy at the alternative Yeomyung School that was founded in 2004 to address their specific challenges. The background stories are offered by art teacher Ms. Duk-Ae Yoon, and not by the students themselves.  Many students at Yeomyung first defected to China illegally, crossing rivers and borders for economic opportunities. This is the time period when students were exposed to and learned about other lives that they had never imagined before. 

If the students were caught by the Chinese police, these undocumented North Korean migrants would be repatriated to their country, which will cause deadly punishments such as execution or long-term labor sentences in prison.  All the anxiety and unsafety in China, plus eye-opening experiences disapproving of North Korea’s political propaganda, led students to another phase of their journey -- they again illegally entered into third countries (e.g., Thailand, Vietnam, or Mongolia) in order to seek asylum in South Korea.  In this process, some spent all the money they earned in China to hire a broker; others receive assistance from the families defected to South Korea earlier or from Christian missionaries in China.  

Average 3 years and 10 months of absence from school in their escaping process automatically led them to be categorized as disadvantaged and at risk in their later schooling. However, from my research, teaching, and service experiences with the Yeomyung students since 2013, I saw something unique and special:  perseverance, resilience, and character that had been built through the hardships and cross-cultural encounters they went through.  North Korean refugees possess many potentials and assets yet to be tapped.

Special thanks are extended to Yeomuyng School including all the young artists/authors, Ms. Duk-Ae Yoon, art teacher, Ms. Myung-Sook Cho, assistant principal, Dr. Heung-Hoon Lee, principal, and Mr. Joseph Park, photographer.  Thank you, Dean Phil Wishon, Dr. Deborah Carrington, and the College of Education Youth Art committee members for making this exhibit a reality. 

Upcoming Exhibits in Prism Gallery

  • Shakespeare in Shenandoah
    Curator: Dr. Kate Stevens, Director, Madison Art Collection
    Exhibit Dates: 3/14/16-5/16/16

On Exhibit in Prism International Gallery

Food & Food for Thought:  Feed Your Global I.Q.