More than 120 guests representing Mercy High School, Archbishop Riordan High School, and
the Schools of the Sacred Heart attended the annual Kristallnacht event hosted by Mercy and
The Helen and Joe Farkas Center. Participants listened to the testimonies of a WWII Holocaust
survivor and El Salvador death squad survivor and responded by writing poetry and messages
on labels they tied to suitcases. These suitcases are now part of a traveling art exhibit on the
Mercy’s religion and art departments worked together to bring this project to life. The project
includes the work of foreign language students who translated the messages and poetry onto
cards that are also part of the exhibit.
The traveling art piece is still in progress with each religion class contributing to the luggage
tags with more responses to different immigrant and deportation stories. The students move the
suitcases to a new spot every day. The Mercy community sees the collection of luggage in one
location one day and then discover them elsewhere on campus the following day.
The moving art exhibit seeks to represent immigrant journeys and how displaced people travel
from one location: a border, another place to rest, or to a station house. Each story is unique
and the tags created by the student viewers and listeners tell the story of the places these
people are leaving, what they carry, and how they are treated along the way.
Women in the Arts students enjoyed a lesson and lecture by Chelsea Ryoko Wong, San Francisco-based painter and muralist who, in her work, captures world culture and contemporary life. She spoke to students about finding inspiration from the urban landscape Her work features vibrant and colorful scenes often busy with people. Wong encouraged the student artists to stay positive, happy, and open-minded as they created their own art.
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Mercy's Art Program, in partnership with the World Languages Department put together this year's Dia de los Muertos altar. All members of the school community were invited to take the time to remember and honor deceased loved ones. Ceramics students worked tirelessly to create the beautiful display.