Six classes finish Faces of Hastings exhibition

Brandi Bosier drives a white convertible around Hastings with trophies and high-heeled shoes attached to the outside. A flag in a rainbow-colored font that says “Born this way” is on the back. Bosier is transgender. She was assigned  male at birth, but now identifies as female.

“I’m part of the town now,” Bosier said, standing next to a poster board with a photo of her leaning against her car that now hangs on the wall next to fellow Hastings neighbors.

She is one of  24 people showcased at the “Faces of Hastings” exhibition in the Hastings Museum. The show was put together over the 2018–2019 school year by six classes at Hastings College, opening May 3 and closing June 2. The exhibition intends to highlight the diversity of people in the city of Hastings.

“It’s more of a storytelling exhibit,” said Sara Gevurtz, assistant professor of digital art, who taught one of the classes that put the
exhibit together.

Each poster board has a person’s name, photo and two quotes that describe who they are and what they do in Hastings. The quotes are written in both English and Spanish.

In addition to the exhibit, books were published and given to interviewees and other historical associations. Books will be available for purchase later this month through Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

“Faces of Hastings” was inspired by “Faces of Change,” a project that started in Pelican Rapids, Minnesota, in 2003. The project in Pelican Rapids highlighted the growing diversity of the town as immigrants moved to the area.

“Faces of Hastings” began in the fall of 2018 with Intercultural Communications, taught by Professor of Communication Studies Jessica Henry; Cultural Anthropology, taught by Professor of Religion and Sociology Jean Heriot; and Literature of North American Diversity, taught by Professor of English Constance Malloy.

Students interviewed individuals they thought would be good candidates to represent diversity in Hastings. The students either found individuals themselves or chose from a list of potentially willing participants given to them by professors.

Advanced Spanish students helped to translate the English text into Spanish. 

During J-Term and into the spring semester, first-year students Lyette Darville and Abigail Shaw, both from Associate Professor of English Patricia Oman’s Book Publishing class, copy-edited the book and posters.

“As an international student, being a part of this project and having my name in a book; I feel like this is tangible proof that I’m representing myself and my country well,” Darville said. Darville is in her second semester of international exchange from New Providence, the Bahamas.

This spring semester, Gevurtz’s Graphic Design II class took pictures, designed marketing materials. For the posters, they designed the background, formatted the text and printed and mounted them.

“Seeing the finished product was a rewarding experience and made all of our long days worth it,” Shaw said.