The Immigrant Artist Group Show

Mar 8, 2017

Now more than ever, the topic of immigrants has been on most people’s lips.

Our family’s immigrant story begins with our great-great-great grandfather Hugh Ward who came to America, sailing aboard the ship “Charlotte” from Belfast, Ireland on July 28, 1885. His son, Robert Boyd Ward, became a first generation American success story, founding the Ward Baking Company, the first company to slice and package bread in a pristine factory setting. At the time of his death in 1915 it represented “the largest manufacturers of bread in the world.”

In light of immigrants’ contributions to America and their individual stories, the Neutra Institute for Survival Through Design in Glendale presents “The Immigrant Artist Group Show,” along with the “First Generation Art Show” and an exhibit of protest signs.

One of the exhibiting artists is Pasadena resident Leah Knecht. We first experienced her reflective, emotive, and personal work during an Open Studios tour.

The first of two pieces in the show is Knecht’s Remembrance:

Remembrance seemed appropriate, being the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which paved the way for the internment of Japanese Americans. This sculpture/assemblage has family photos and mementos of that period, and the aftermath. My grandparents escaped to Illinois, where they were safe from internment, but they still lost everything.
—Leah Knecht


Leah Knecht, Remembrance


Another participating artist is Peter Liashkov, one of Leah’s former instructors at Art Center. Liashkov was born in Rouen, France in 1939, his parents of Russian descent. He was born during an air raid, he tells SLHC during a 2009 interview. His frightened mother was left on the operating table while folks took refuge in the shelters below. He says she was “frozen stiff when they came back so they gave her cognac, and I was born.” Liashkov lived with his family in Argentina from 1949 to 1955 (during the time of Eva Peron) before emigrating to Southern California. He studied Slavic languages at UCLA and attended Otis Art Institute. For thirty years (1975-2006) he was a professor at Art Center College of Design, teaching drawing and painting.

“The Immigrant Artist Group Show” is curated by Dulce Stein.

The event is free with proceeds from beverage sales (beer, juice, water) to be donated to Save Porter Ranch and chocolate sales benefit Planned Parenthood.


The Immigrant Artist Group Show
Opening reception, Saturday, March 11th, 6-10 p.m.
Runs through March 26
Neutra Museum Gallery, 2240 Neutra Place, Silverlake 90039
Gallery hours: Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday, 4-8 p.m.
Tel: 1.323.666.1806
Event page on Facebook


Leah Knecht’s grandmother




Flintridge Books

Lyd and Mo Photography

Louis Jane Studios

Homage Pasadena