Dairy Arts Center

Windows, Walls and Invisible Lines: Portraits of Life in Sanctuary

Windows, Walls and Invisible Lines:
Portraits of Life in Sanctuary

Joel Dyer

May 10th – July 14th, 2024

Beginning in 2017, women and men who had lived, worked, paid taxes  and raised families in this country for decades were ordered deported and given only a few days to leave. With their children and partners often having been born in the U.S., they were being forced to either abandon their children or take them with them back to dangerous countries to live in poverty among the gangs and violence they had fled so many years before. Facing such an unimaginable decision, some chose another path, taking sanctuary within a church to avoid deportation and save their families. Joel Dyer’s Windows, Walls and Invisible Lines: Portraits of Life in Sanctuary exhibit offers a compelling glimpse into the lives of those in sanctuary during their years trapped behind church walls.

About the Artist:

Joel Dyer has been a documentary photographer, journalist and author for more than 35 years. 

He worked under a corporate grant to photograph the farm crises and document the increasing rate of farm suicides in the 1980s. In the early 1990s, he traveled the United States photographing endangered species and protected lands for the Nature Conservancy. He served as staff photographer for Boulder Weekly for several years before becoming the editor of the paper in 1995. 

His work has appeared in New York Times Sunday Magazine, Vanity Fair, U.S. News & World Report, Mother Jones, Utne Reader and numerous other publications.

His original reporting has put him in front of the camera on such programs as Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox News, 48 Hours, Nightline, ABC/NBC/CBS Nightly News, and The Editors.

Dyer worked with author Gore Vidal on a number of projects as both a writer and editor, including two of his pieces on domestic terrorism and Timothy McVeigh for Vanity Fair. Vidal has included excerpts of Dyer’s work in two of his books, and was instrumental in having his publisher translate and publish Dyer’s book Harvest of Rage in Italy.

Dyer’s investigative reporting on the antigovernment movement resulted in his being called to testify before the Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism in 1996. 

Dyer has been a featured speaker at the national conference for Investigative Reporters and Editors

He has won more than 60 national and regional journalism awards for his photography, reporting and books.

He has written two screenplays, including one with actor/author Peter Coyote.

Dyer has written two critically acclaimed books: Harvest of Rage: Why Oklahoma City is Only the Beginning 1998,  published by Hachette Book Group Perpetual Prisoner Machine: How America Profits from Crime 2000, published by Hachette Book Group

Dyer’s books have been endorsed by Author/Historian Howard Zinn, filmmaker Michael Moore, Author Gore Vidal, Author Mark Dowie, and best-selling author and former Texas Secretary of Agriculture Jim Hightower.

In 2018, Dyer launched his Windows, Walls and Invisible Lines: Portraits of Life in Sanctuary project which has for the past four years been collecting the photographs and stories of undocumented immigrants who have been forced to take sanctuary in churches to avoid deportation back to their countries of origin. For many of these people, such an outcome would likely result in their own deaths and/or force them to decide between giving up their small children or taking them back to a world of poverty and violence.

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MARCH 2020

As of today, 3/12/2020, The Dairy Arts Center remains open and operational. Should scheduling changes occur, ticket holders will be directly notified by The Dairy Arts Center.

If you have a question about an event please contact the presenting arts organization. For films, Dairy Presents and all other questions contact the Box Office at 303.440.7826