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.
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.