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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Art from the heart

Painter illustrates lives of migrants

Todd Drake freely admits he had no idea that most of the Mexican immigrants living in Orange County, N.C., are from Celaya, Guanajuato. But after meeting members of this local immigrant community and learning about the particular struggles of those who are undocumented, he chose to use his artistic skills to share their stories.


Todd Drake
Drake, a member of Community Lutheran Church, Summerfield, N.C., collaborated on Going to Carolina del Norte, which contains photographs and stories from the Mexican immigrants in Orange County and their family members still in Celaya. “The idea was an outgrowth from conversations with Hannah Gill, an anthropologist who was also a Rockefeller Fellow at the University of North Carolina,” said Drake, who has a master’s degree in fine arts and teaches art history.

“The Rockefeller Foundation paid for us to go to Mexico, make art with members of the community and listen to their stories, and to put them together in a book. But I also realized I wanted to respond to all I was learning in a more personal way.”


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