By Ron Matz

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—There’s a new and unusual exhibit opening Wednesday at Baltimore’s Reginald F. Lewis Museum. It features artwork by local students who are refugees.

Ron Matz has more on the interweaving of traditions from around the world.

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They are books as art, celebrating the cultures of young refugees. It’s the new exhibit at Baltimore’s Reginald F. Lewis Museum. Victoria Timpo curated the exhibit as her master’s thesis project.

“It started two years ago. I really wanted to work with students who come from immigrant or refugee backgrounds and have an outlet for them to be creative,” said Timpo, a MICA graduate student.

You can see the creativity from the students who fled Nepal, the Congo and other countries.

“Some of the students are from Bhutan, Nepal, the Congo. They’re from various countries. They have various levels of experience in English. The students I’m working with right now are from Patterson High School,” Timpo said.

The Refugee Youth Project is one of the programs at Baltimore City Community College.

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“We work at four different locations: Patterson High School, Moravia Elementary. We have a site in West Baltimore and one in Catonsville,” said Kursten Pickup, BCCC.

Visitors will also have a chance to share their thoughts about what they see.

“The museum’s paramount mission is education, so we want to be sure we’re educating students of all ages but especially our young people,” said Asantewa Boakyewa, Reginald F. Lewis Museum assistant curator. “We’re excited to have this project. We hope visitors will see the stories of refugee youth. We also hope that it will bring light to the story of the African diaspora, which encompasses communities of African descent beyond the continent of Africa.”

This exhibit was two years in the making and continues at the museum through June 1.

“The books are really supposed to identify who they are, they’re identities and their cultures, so a lot of the materials are either African or Asian-inspired prints,” Timpo said. “I hope people will learn about the students’ journey, who they are and to experience a little bit about refugee youth in Baltimore. There is a growing population here, and I want to build awareness about that population.”

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