Franco-American Experience Explored through Art and Political Cartoons

21 Sep 2018 5:30 PM | Anonymous member

Museum L-A is thrilled to announce a new gallery exhibit opening this fall that explores the Franco-American experience through a new medium: cartoons. The exhibit, “Beau-frog: The Art of Peter Archambault,” will display the artwork and political cartoons of Peter Archambault, a native of Madawaska, Maine. His artwork, featured monthly in a Franco-American publication at the University of Maine at Orono, Le F.A.R.O.G. Forum, provided rich political commentary, an investigation into immigration practices, and an exploration of the Franco-American culture in Maine and New England.

The public is invited to attend the free opening reception of the exhibit on October 3, 2018, at 5:30 pm. 

During the exhibit, Susan Pinette, Director of Franco American Programs at the University of Maine will give a free talk about the artwork on display and Peter Archambault’s life on November 14, 2018, at 6:30 pm in the Museum L-A gallery space.  The history of Franco-American communities in the seventies and eighties has not yet been written.  This talk aims to begin to fill this void by exploring drawings made by a Franco-American artist engaged in struggles to support and defend the rights of Franco-Americans.

 Archambault created a character called “Beau-frog” as a way to reclaim the common slur generally directed toward francophone and French heritage people during this era. The daily exploits of the frog truly illustrate the trials and tribulations of a minority figure coming to terms with their personal and cultural identity while surrounded by the pressures of an Anglophone majority. Despite this work being created for the Franco-American students on the Orono campus, the cultural exploration found in Archambault’s cartoon drawings can speak to the experiences of the people in our community of Lewiston-Auburn, a place deeply affected by French Canadian immigration since the 1850s. While on display in the Museum L-A gallery, his work gives visitors the chance to explore these themes of immigration and cultural identity through the unique medium of cartoons, and allows them to come up with their own interpretations and conclusions about the meaning behind the art.

 “Beau-frog: The Art of Peter Archambault” was created in partnership with The Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine and the UMaine Franco American Programs.

  “This exhibit comes to our gallery space at a very appropriate time, since Museum L-A is dedicating Fall 2018 to talking about immigration at the local and national level through the Becoming American program,” Museum L-A’s Director of Education and Outreach, Kate Webber says. Becoming American is a public program that features films, discussions, and a wide variety of events across the twin cities in collaboration with over 20 community partners. Museum L-A was selected as one of 32 sites across America to host this program series. For more information about the upcoming programming, please visit Museum L-A’s website.

 Museum L-A is located in the Bates Mill Complex at 35 Canal Street in Lewiston, Maine.  Its hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday from 10 am to 4 pm and Saturdays from 10 am to 3 pm.  Special tour requests and large group tours outside of these hours are available by appointment.

 For more information, please contact or call 207-333-3881.

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Maine Archives and Museums

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