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Pompano Beach Cultural Center Presents HELLO I AM KITTY By Joana Toro

Latin American immigrant artist explores identity while costumed in Times Square.

Pompano Beach Cultural Center Presents HELLO I AM KITTY By Joana Toro

Pompano Beach Cultural Center will present a solo exhibition entitled Hello I Am Kitty by Joana Toro. This exhibition by the Colombian documentary photographer examines concepts of immigration, identity, and social issues. She captured these intriguing images while dressed in a Hello Kitty costume, posing with people in New York's Time Square.

The opening reception includes an artist talk and book signing. takes place on January 13, 2023, at 6 pm and the exhibition runs through April 6, 2023. For more information, www.pompanobeacharts.org.

"This extraordinary and surreal slice-of-life exhibition of photos was created from a unique viewpoint," said Ty Tabing, Cultural Affairs Director. "From inside her costume, through the eye hole, she captured her experiences with the public and her relationship with the 'stuffed community,' the costumed characters in Times Square who are mostly migrants and often undocumented."

In 2019, the book Hello I Am Kitty was published in Tragaluz, Colombia. The artist describes her work on this project as, "the result of a personal journal to find my new 'identity'... while I asked for donations after posing for pictures in Times Square."

"Being an immigrant is an enormous challenge," said Toro. "This project provokes a reflection on the status of Latin immigrants in US, their cultural appropriation, and new identities, [and the] ironies of immigrant life on the margins of a globalized world."

Toro is a self-taught photographer based in New York City and Bogotá, Colombia. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, World Press Photo Witness, Open Society Foundations, and Photo World China Magazine, among others. She worked as a staff photographer with major magazines and newspapers in Colombia before she migrated to the United States in 2011 to further her career.

In 2020, Toro's work was included in the public collection of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. It has been exhibited in international photo festivals all over the globe, including Les Femmes s'exposent France 2019, Photoville New York, Guate Photo (Guatemala), Just another Festival (India), International Photography Festival (China), and others. In 2020, Toro also received the Eyewitness Photojournalism Grant by the Pulitzer Center and Diversify Photo, and a National Geographic COVID-19 Emergency Fund grant.

Pompano Beach Cultural Center is located at 50 West Atlantic Boulevard, Pompano Beach.

The Gallery Hours are Monday through Friday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm | Saturday & Sundays: CLOSED | Open during performance The exhibitions are free and open to the public.

The mission of the Cultural Affairs Department is to provide cultural programming that includes visual arts, digital media, music, film, theater, dance and public art for the enjoyment and enrichment of residents and visitors to Pompano Beach, Broward County, and the greater South Florida area. The department programs and manages the City's premiere cultural arts venues, including the Pompano Beach Cultural Center, Ali Cultural Arts Center, Bailey Contemporary Arts Center, and the Blanche Ely House Museum. The department also oversees the City's Public Art Program and the prestigious National Endowment for the Arts' Our Town grant awarded to the Pompano Beach Crossroads place-making arts initiative.



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