Wake Forest University Art Professor Looking for Immigrant Subjects

By Leeann Williams on May 24, 2018

Winston-Salem- David Finn, an art professor at Wake Forest University is looking for immigrant subjects to cast their heads for his sculpture project called “Shadow Citizens.” He is looking for people 18 and older who do not vote or cannot vote (immigrants, non-US citizens or citizens), and willing to get their head cast in a totally non-toxic material. Participants’ information is kept completely confidential and they will be compensated.

David Finn, an Art Professor at Wake Forest University from New York and his assistant, Haley Savage, 21, from Alabama who is majoring in Studio Art and Psychology at Wake Forest University, work together to cast a subject’s head in Wake Forest Scales Fine Art Center art studio.

“Because I am not a Shadow myself, and I could be seen as a privileged observer, I am reluctant to create a work that in any way creates attention or profit for me. I would like to be able to give back more to my subjects,” said Finn.

Finn has worked as an art professor for Wake Forest University for 30 years teaching Sculpture. His inspiration for this project was his daughter who works with a refugee family. He is interested in human faces and human expression. He also wants to get to know his subjects.

“I like meeting new people because all the people I meet are very different from me and my world and I’d like to get involved with all of these kinds of people in a way. Maybe helping them or working with some of the organizations,” said Finn.

This project is called Shadow Citizens because it addresses the problem that some US citizens refuse to participate in politics when some immigrants would like to be involved but are not allowed to vote, making them feel like they’re in the shadows of society.

“These are people don’t quite have a home in a way or they’re not fitting into society. I want to find a place that’s safe and secure and I want to make them a part of the land,” said Finn.

He would like to place the heads in a meaningful place in nature, possibly an immigrant trail or places where Native Americans stayed.

“There is this history that we have with migration and also of us displacing the Native Americans that were already here. So all those things about the understanding of the land that exists but we don’t even know what it is,” said Finn.

This is an ongoing project and Finn does not have an intended number of heads. Later when he is ready to place them he will need help lifting and moving the heads. He is thinking of creating a geo-map of the locations of the heads with some technical help from students.

Students can get involved in this project by emailing David Finn at finndt@wfu.edu or calling his office phone at 336-407-2174.

By Leeann Williams

Uloop Writer
Hi I am a soon to be second-year student at Forsyth Technical Community College. I am transferring to Salem College to major in Communications to pursue a career in journalism. I write for my school newspaper right now, and I'm looking for more online writing opportunities. I love learning about other cultures, trying new food and watching Netflix shows.

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