mixed media, 20×20″

“My art piece is a visual representation of my views on the current state of freedom, peace, and justice in America. As a person of color, I feel that there are a lot more barriers and social stigmas that prevent us from truly living the ‘American Dream’. One issue in particular of pressing importance is police brutality among people of color who are frequently accused, questioned, and targeted, often leading to being killed by the police. They are portrayed to the public as monsters, rather than looking at these people as victims. We as a nation need to dig deeper and see people for who they really are, not as they are portrayed. In America, we claim our justice system is effective in “innocent until proven guilty” but in reality, it is much the opposite. We have a “guilty until proven innocent” mindset, being very destructive to our society, leading to stereotypes and stigmas about races, genders, of many people and never seeing the real person.”

WINTON WOODS HS BIO: Winton Woods City Schools partnered with the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in its ‘Gifted and Talented Introduction to Art’ for ninth grade students to focus on projects upon the theme of “Freedom.” Under the guidance of art teacher Megan Smarda, students explored “what freedom meant to them.” They researched, investigated, thought in-depth about the question and created artistic solutions to their thoughts. The project became personal for the students and sparked great passion in them.