A socially engaged immigrant outreach project ​about the creative process and cultural sustainability

The Iowa Ceramic Center and Glass Studio (ICCGS) and international artist collective - Jane Gilmor, Paula Reaes Pinto and Antonio Gorgel Pinto - with funding from the City of Cedar Rapids and an Iowa Arts Council Project Grant. Shifting Ground is an immigrant outreach project using art making and the creative process as a vehicle for learning about each other (past and present) and for finding a sense of place within a new culture, while also retaining pride in one’s heritage.

The Shifting Ground workshops focus on the shifting notions of home and identity that come with multiple relocations. The workshops aim to give visibility to recent immigrants to the Cedar Rapids area. 

Funding for Shifting Ground was provided by the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, the City of Cedar Rapids, Cedar Rapids Bank and Trust and Mount Mercy University, Janalyn Hanson-White Gallery, the City of Évora and the University of Évora, Portugal. The CHAIA - Centre for Art History and Artistic Research - Portugal, will provide funding for the Portugal portion of the project in 2021.​​​​​​​

Community Partners include St. Paul’s Methodist Church, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church Hispanic Ministries, Trees Forever, United We March Forward, Mount Mercy University, the Cherry Building, and Legion Arts.

Elements of storytelling based on personal histories and communicated working with clay were used. Participants were honored at the completion of their workshop during a public exhibition/opening and multicultural celebration at The Cherry Center Place in NewBo, Saturday July 27th, 1- 4pm, 2019.

July 15 — 18 2019
4:00 - 6:00pm

Hispanic Youth workshop
Iowa Ceramics Center and Glass Studio
Hispanic Youth ages 14-18


July 22 — 26 2019
10:00am - noon

East African immigrant adult workshop
St. Paul’s Methodist Church
​East African immigrant adult ages 17 and up


Exhibit / Celebration

A multicultural celebration of immigrant stories told with clay
Catalogue available for download at the ISSUU website

Corky Solutions

Re-purposing Culture to Create Sustainability

Public lecture

July 24 2019 5:00 - 6:30pm

Whipple Auditorium, Downtown CR Library

From designing urban furniture from re-purposed wood palettes to new products in cork, Portuguese artists Paula & Antonio Pinto fearlessly imagine art in the public interest.

Exhibit / Celebration

A Multicultural Celebration of Immigrant Stories Told with Clay

July 27 2019 1:00 - 4:00 pm

Public exhibition opening and celebration

The Cherry Building (next to NewBo Market)

Bring your dancing shoes to celebrate the conclusion of two weeks of story telling and art-making with recent Hispanic and East African immigrants. Meet the artists!

Hispanic Youth workshop
Iowa Ceramics Center and Glass Studio


East African immigrant adult workshop
St. Paul’s Methodist Church


Further information about Shifting Ground Workshops

Participation in these workshops was limited to 12, all tuition was paid in full by a grant from the City of Cedar Rapids and The Iowa Ceramics Center and Glass Studio. This grant included the cost of materials and food. In addition, assistance with transportation to the workshops was available.  

At the end of the workshop there was a special exhibition at The Iowa Ceramic Center and Glass Studio, on July 27th and in September, at Mount Mercy University Gallery. A printed and online booklet about the workshop was published and available to all participants. Each participant was awarded a special Certificate of Completion at the July 27th celebration.

Catalogue of the final exhibition at the Janalyn Hanson-White Gallery, Mount Mercy University, available for download at the ISSUU website.

For Further information please contact:

Jane Gilmor

[email protected] 


Paula & Antonio Pinto

[email protected]gmail.com


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