The de Saisset gallery at Santa Clara University recently launched a new exhibition presenting four different collections of artwork comprised of lithographs, prints, oil paintings and photographs, all of which center upon political and social hardships from the Great Depression era of the 1930s to the present day. The exhibit until December 4.

Between Struggle and Hope: Envisioning a Democratic Art in the 1930s
The New Deal was an economic series of programs enforced by Franklin D. Roosevelt and the U.S. Congress during the 1930s. Although the New Deal sought to reprimand the economic hardships Americans had faced after the Great Depression, the heart of the matter was captured through the artistic lens of lithographs and printmaking. Between Hope and Struggle is a collection of photographs, lithographs and prints once utilized as propaganda pieces during the 1930s. Now hanging on the walls of the de Saisset gallery, they remind us of our past struggles and hopes as Americans.

This Camera Fights Fascism: The Photographs of David Bacon and Francisco Dominguez
Contemporary photographers David Bacon and Francisco Dominguez respond to the photographs of Dorothea Lange, a photographer from the 1930s. Inspired by her endearment to capture the political and social turmoil of the Great Depression era, Bacon and Dominguez are captivated by the heartache and injustice that still presides with the migrant workers of today. Through their collection of contemporary photographs depicting U.S. migrant workers, they draw social awareness to the workers and their families who continue to suffer while the debate of globalization and U.S. migration policies persist.

Hobos to Street People: Artists’ Responses to Homelessness
There are two parts of this traveling exhibit, both centering upon the issue of homelessness from the 1930s to present day. This showing includes a mixture of photography, oil paintings, posters and prints. Comparing various artists’ perspectives from the 1930s to today, one can see how the issue of homelessness has reverted or progressed with change.

The Changing Face of Homelessness: A Collection of Portraits by Santa Clara University Photography Students
Displayed on the second floor is a collection of black and white photographs, all of which were done by Santa Clara University students from Renee Billingslea’s Exploring Society through Photography class. The photographs capture the beauty of living, defying the superficial theory that luxury is happiness. The students photographed various faces of individuals and families within their local communities who continue to suffer under extreme economic hardship. Despite their struggles, the smiles, laughter and the hugs between loved ones convey that the bonds of family and friendship are what truly matter most.