First Time in America

Event has passed (Sat May 5, 2018 - Sun May 6, 2018)
Gallery Opening, Art


This May, San Francisco’s Sketchpad Gallery presents “First Time in America”, an illustration series with nine international artists telling stories about culture shock. This show is a story collection about people’s discoveries and experiences when they first time come to the USA.

This show begins with Ruby Wang, the Gallery Curator,and her journey from San Francisco to Dallas. People come from many different backgrounds and cultures in San Francisco, but Texas has more people born and raised in the US. This difference reminds her of the culture shocks she experienced when she came to America for the first time. “It reminds me of the stories my friends shared about their experiences with coming to America. I want to catch these little funny stories and write them down before we forget.” said Ruby.

Ruby Wang hopes this theme and idea can expand and extend through different artists’ artworks. “Culture shock doesn’t only happen around me. I hope people can take this idea and interview their friends; using illustrations as a universal language to share their stories.” Ruby said. She invited eight other artists, including the Exhibition Director Hsing Yi Lee, to join this project. “We want this exhibition to be an interactive show,” Hsing Yi said, “We will put a sketchbook in the gallery and encourage people to share their stories after they see the show.”

First Time in America uses both humor and real experiences to illustrate how foreign people adjust to their life in America. There is neither lowliness nor nobleness between cultures. We learn and respect each other’s uniqueness, and help each other to be better. We are all part of a family that can lift each other up while celebrating what makes us unique.

Artists in this show include Ruby Wang, Hsing Yi Lee, Celine You, JJ song, Gloria Felix, Wilma Lai, Salo Duarte, Eleven Shih, Eunjung June Kim, Joan Wirolinggo, and Prem Sai.


  1. Sketchpad 505 Natoma Street, San Francisco, CA