Coming to America: The Immigration Experience
By Andrew Sabori

Thomasville Center for the Arts | Main Building
600 East Washington Street
M-F | 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Presented in partnership with

Mural panel for “Ellis Island the Lost Mural” by Andrew Sabori
Immigrants arriving in America; Photo courtesy of National Archives

August 9 – October 1, 2017
Coming to America: The Immigration Experience; 
Courtesy of Andrew Sabori
Thomasville Center for the Arts | Main Gallery

Schedule a TOUR with 10 or more.

Hidden away in the immigrants’ dining hall of Ellis Island from 1938-1954 was a 190-foot long mural created as part of the Works Progress Administration entitled “The Role of the Immigrant in the Industrial Development of America.” The dining hall was a place never visited by the public, but millions of immigrants to this country passed through its doors over the years and sat beneath the artistic scenes left by original mural creator Edward Laning. In the mid-1950s most of the mural was destroyed by a storm, and today, the remaining panels are hanging in a federal courthouse in Brooklyn, NY.

Contemporary mural artist Andrew Sabori decided to reproduce the Ellis Island mural on a smaller scale as an educational tool for students, creating 19 sections that total 90-feet in length. Black and white photos of the original were used for Sabori’s reproduction, and the artist was assisted by students from Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy in Las Vegas and Pahrump Valley High School. Today’s reproduction is a tribute to Laning and our early immigrant forefathers.

Thomasville Center for the Arts (TCA) is proud to be chosen to exhibit this mural for the very first time to the public at large in the upcoming exhibit Coming to America: The Immigration Experience. Sabori’s traveling mural, alongside National Archive portraits, passport papers, and photos, tell the story of our nation as a melting pot.

This exhibition will run from August 9 – October 4 in the Main Gallery at Thomasville Center for the Arts, located at 600 E. Washington Street. The exhibit is free and open to the public Monday – Friday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Donations are welcome.



September 7, 2017 | 5:00 – 7:30 pm
Opening Reception & Creative Conversation
Thomasville Center for the Arts | Auditorium

If you are interested in attending the Opening Reception, Speaker series, and Artreach, please purchase your $15 ticket. Seats are limited.

Buy tickets for the 9:00 AM ArtReach + Opening & Speaker >>

Buy tickets for the 1:00 PM ArtReach + Opening & Speaker >>

Visitors interested in experiencing the exhibition on a deeper level are invited to purchase tickets to the September 7th ArtReach, Opening Reception & Creative Conversation with Andrew Sabori and James McSweeney of the National Archives. With the purchase of a $15 ticket, patrons may choose from the 9:00 am or 1:00 pm Ellis Island ArtReach performance in TCA’s auditorium, followed by the Opening Reception at 5:00 pm and Creative Conversation at 6:00 pm (both at TCA). After each performance, the City of Thomasville Visitor’s Center will provide guests with a welcome packet highlighting other Thomasville area attractions to visit between the ArtReach performance and the evening events.


Opening Reception | 5:00 – 6:00 pm

Creative Conversation | 6:00 – 7:30 pm will include:

  • Andrew Sabori, lost mural artist (6:00 pm)
  • James McSweeney, National Archives (6:30 pm)


September 6, 7 & 8 | 1:00 – 1:45 pm
Ellis Island & Immigration ArtReach
Thomasville Center for the Arts | Auditorium

Since 1993, ArtReach has been a TCA collaborative program with local public and private schools to provide professional theatre performances for all school children, grades Pre-K through 12. Performances take place at TCA’s theater during the school day. For grades 6-8.

Teachers may contact Mary Oglesby at (229) 226-0588 or to schedule a class field trip to ArtReach.