Freedom Center hosting Truth & Healing Artist Showcase starting July 14
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Freedom Center exhibition shares artists' truths and encourages healing
- ASHA AMA’s AGAPE, a couture collection of menswear and womenswear exploring gender fluidity and Black people’s intentional separation while highlighting our unique ability to possess agape – or selfless – love. Though the world has strategically broken down Black people’s connection to their own identity, they still find ways to dream, find each other and love.
- Julia Orquera Bianco’s TOGETHERNESS, a canvas tent cyanotyped using organic material collected from Burnet Woods. The piece invites viewers inside, where they can rest on handmade cushions, evoking a gathering around a bonfire as they also interact with a series of poems written during Bianco’s “Walking the Winter” sessions.
- Brent Billingsley’s I’m Listening, which features a collaboration between the artist, Cincinnati Police Department and students at Woodward Career Technical High School that produced a line of hand-designed, costume-painted, artistically-rendered garments. The content is the result of a series of discussions between students, teachers and police that empower youth through creativity, relationship-building and care.
- Michael Coppage’s HANDS BEHIND YOUR BACK!, part of his “12 Commandments” series. The bronze sculpture is a powerful commentary on police brutality disproportionately targeting Black and Brown communities. The piece plays on the Biblical commandments “Thou shalt not kill” and “Thou shalt not bear false witness” and the way police have historically used the power of their position to justify institutionalized violence against people of color. The sculpture further highlights how even compliance with these commands can result in death. The piece is not meant to demonize police but to speak out against the assertion of power over Black bodies and the systemic issues that arise as a result.
- Michael Thompson’s Murmurations, which uses the mesmerizing flight of thousands of starlings, as they flock in intricate and undulating patterns, to highlight the power of collective action to protect and progress our communities. The work draws parallels between natural and human systems and recognizes the strength and beauty of interconnectedness as a force for the common good in our efforts toward justice and dignity.
“As we stand before these works of art, I hope we hear their stories and can begin to open our hearts to the shared beauty of our humanity,” added Keown. “If we can do that, we can begin the healing process that will spur us closer to inclusive freedom for all.”