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Mayor Fiorello La Guardia reading the Daily News election results in 1941.

The Italian American Museum Presents a Photographic Essay by Janine Coyne

Sicilian Journey by Janine Coyne opens on March 8th featuring Coyne's poignant images of Sicily from one of her strongest bodies of work

Opening Reception, Wednesday, March 8th at 6 p.m. featuring Soprano Carmela Altamura

New York, February 24, 2006 - The Italian American Museum presents new works in the photographic essay Sicilian Journey by fine art photographer Janine Coyne. The exhibition will remain on view through April 7th, 2006. A mid-career artist, Coyne has exhibited widely throughout the United States, with works in prominent Public Collections. These include: the Brooklyn Museum, The Museum of the City of New York, The National Museum of Immigration at Ellis Island, The Beinert Collection to name a few. She currently teaches photography at Kingsborough Community College, and the College of Staten Island, The City University of New York.

Janine Coyne's choice of imagery exemplifies the mission of the Italian American Museum to produce exhibitions of Italian American artists who are interested in issues relevant to the Italian American experience. Sicilian Journey examines Coyne's desire to connect to her Sicilian heritage. Concerned with contemporary issues of placement and relevance understood by a wide audience, Coyne reflects a growing number of artists concerned with the layering of intent in their work. No longer can straight art photography be the reason for the creation of such a series. Instead, Coyne questions the social issues of living in a place removed from the urgency of consumerism and commercial enterprise prevalent in our urban setting. Joseph V. Scelsa, President of the Italian American Museum, states, "For me, Janine Coyne's work is particularly significant since my paternal grandparents both came from Sicily 100 years ago. It has taken many of us two generations to reconnect with our roots. Janine's work helps us to understand ourselves."

As an Italian American woman artist, Janine Coyne communicates her past through her choice of imagery. On a recent journey to Sicily, Coyne visited the Aeolian island of Stromboli, the town of her father's ancestors. She was moved by this experience while noting how many of the town's inhabitants looked so similarly to her own family members. While walking through this small fishing village she felt at home in a place so distant from affluence, consumer concerns and the rush of urban American life. "These are a raw people, people close to the earth and the sea, making their living through fishing and farming," expressed Coyne.

Maria Cocchiarelli, curator of the exhibition states, "Coyne is reflecting the world as she views it, suspending the boundary between subject and viewer - this places her in the litany of important contemporary artists. Her intent that common people have a deep existence not dependent on their notoriety or the media's interpretation for their meaning mirrors her experience as well as many writers, artists and theorists of this post modernist era."

The Italian American Museum exhibition includes twenty-four original gelatin-silver prints in black and white. It is accompanied with a fully illustrated catalogue with essays by Maria Cocchiarelli, Janine Coyne, and Mariani Lefas-Tetenes (an art historian, and critic originally from Greece).

Public Program: On March 22, at 6 p.m., Janine Coyne will lead the visitor through the exhibition, followed by an artist led discussion of her work at the Museum.

The Italian American Museum is the first museum dedicated to preserving and presenting the cultural and social contributions of Italian Americans to the American way of life.

The Sicilian Journey exhibit will be open to the public from Monday to Friday, 10 am -4 pm or by appointment (212-642-2020), 28 West 44th Street, 17th floor, New York, NY.

The opening reception will be held on Wednesday, March 8th at 6 p.m.

This exhibit was made possible by the Columbus Citizens Foundation and in part by the National Organization of Italian American Women, Associazioni Siciliane Unite of New York; Gary Portuesi of Authenic Sicily Tours; Joe's of Avenue U Focacceria Palermitana; Giusto Priola from Cascio e Pepe Restaurant in New York City.

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