We Were Strangers Too

Child's View by Lyla Paakkanen

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Artist Statement

"I used to work at the Los Angeles Children's Museum where I was in charge of an ethnic exhibit and a children's gallery. We would get art from different outside organizations. One day I got a proposal for an exhibit for artwork done by refugee children of the long, Guatemalan Civil War that had ended in 1996. The imagery was heart wrenching as these kids had seen so much violence and death. I thought that I would create a poster based upon children's drawings. When I went to do the reasearch, I found that like the pictures on the museum wall, children of war drew either the horror of war, or an idealized world to which they and their families would escape to. I decided to make drawings that looked like children had drawn them, but not the drawings of the horrors of war, or the idealized world, but their flight to their life. Many immigrants are forced to move from their homes and go through many hardships to escape, conflict, persecution, and prejudices, but it is the hardest on children." - Lyla Paakkanen

Lyla Paakkanen lives in Sacramento, where the Pony Express ended its route. She is a freelance artist and illustrator, has a Master’s Degree in Art from CSUN, Communications Design from UCLA. She taught art at 5 colleges and has won many awards in California and Colorado for her work.

About We Were Strangers Too

We Were Strangers Too is a collection of designs showing how diverse and universal the refugee experience truly is. Proceeds support the Anti-Defamation League, the nation's premier civil rights/human relations agency, fighting anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all.

About our Prints

Each poster is hand-printed and handled, to make sure that only the highest quality is offered and sent out. The matte paper and high quality of inks make for a vibrant image which looks great both framed, and au-naturel. Printed in Los Angeles, CA, on Epson Enhanced Matte Paper, heavyweight stock, high color gamut, using Epson UltraChrome HDR ink-jet technology. Framed posters offer the same, museum-quality printed poster, but wrapped in a protective black frame. The frame is lightweight and includes a shatter-resistant acrylite front protector, so it won't break in the mail. International orders may be subject to customs duties & taxes.