There Is a Land Over the Ocean

Portland International Airport

January 6, 2020 – January 10, 2023

When we interview immigrants and refugees, we often ask about their first memory of stepping onto American soil. For many of those resettling in the area, Portland International Airport served as their Ellis Island, a port of entry for a new beginning.

Following difficult goodbyes to family members and friends, immigrants and refugees often travel for days — sometimes weeks — before arriving in the United States.

The title of our exhibition, “There Is a Land Over The Ocean,” refers to the moment when, after traveling over seemingly endless ocean expanses, the passengers in our stories see their final destination, a welcoming place to call home.

Using a narrative style that emphasizes the voices and perspectives of each storyteller, we produced short-form accounts capturing both the obstacles and the bold inspiration of immigrating to a new country.

We hope that our exhibition’s location in PDX’s International Terminal will provide a sense of familiarity for new arrivals. May these welcoming faces remind all travelers that Portlanders embrace multiculturalism and that our aim is to make everyone in our community feel right at home.