|HOUSTON – Houston Public Library (HPL) is hosting former President George W. Bush’s powerful collection of oil paintings and stories that highlight our proud history as a nation of immigrants. Through 43 powerful four-color portraits—personally painted by President George W. Bush—and their accompanying stories, «Out of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants» reminds us of the countless ways in which America has been strengthened by those who have come here in search of a better life. The exhibit is on display at the Julia Ideson Building Gallery (550 McKinney St., 77002) from July 15, 2023, through September 27, 2023.
An opening reception is taking place Saturday, July 15 at 3 p.m. The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public; reservations for the reception are strongly encouraged and can be made online.
Representing numerous cultures and nearly every region of the world, the men and women featured in «Out of Many, One» speak to the hard work, determination, and unfaltering optimism that are inherent to both the immigrant spirit and the spirit of America. The title references the Great Seal of the United States, which for generations has declared E PLURIBUS UNUM—“out of many, one”—to remind us of America’s exceptional ability to unite individuals from all backgrounds and cultures as one nation. As our country continues to grapple with the complexities of immigration policy, «Out of Many, One» seeks to put us face-to-face with immigrants themselves so that we may hear their stories and better understand what America has given to them and them to America.
The exhibit also includes bold, principle-based policy solutions to address the current debate on immigration. At the heart of the recommendations is the belief that every year that passes without reforming the nation’s broken system means missed opportunities to ensure the future prosperity, vitality, and security of our country. When immigrants assimilate and advance in our society, they realize their dreams, renew our spirit, and add to the unity of America. The paintings featured in «Out of Many, One» are also the subject of a hardcover book by the same name, available in stores and online.
The Julia Ideson Building is located at 550 McKinney St., Houston, TX 77002. Metered parking is available under the Central Library building at 500 McKinney St. Parking is free on Saturdays.