In July 2015, the Grace Museum approached the IRC in Abilene about a possible exhibit on refugees. Austin based artist Roger Columbik and Jerolyn Bahm-Colombik had recently contracted with the museum to put together an exhibit. During their first visit to Abilene, Roger and Jerolyn encountered a refugee family at the local grocery store. This encounter sparked their vision and passion to put together an exhibit on refugee voices.
Over a 9 month period, the Columbiks travelled to Abilene and interviewed refugees the IRC connected them with. They painted, they created, they wrote. After almost a year, the exhibit opened its doors to the public, and held its official reception in June 2016. The portraits of refugees and stories of their past, their present and their hopes for the future, visually paints a picture of the refugee journey and the work of the IRC.
Thank you to Judy Thetford and the Grace Museum, to the financial contributors, the refugees for sharing their stories, and to Roger and Jerolyn for showing that Abilene truly is a new home to so many displaced.
The exhibit at the Grace Museums runs through August 13, 2016. The Grace Museum is located in downtown Abilene.
VolunteerAbilene [at] Rescue.org (subject: Information%20on%20volunteering%20with%20the%20IRC%20in%20Abilene) (Email us to find out how to partner with the International Rescue Committee in Abilene).