The Transylvania Times -

Faces of Freedom


Last updated 6/3/2015 at 1:18pm

Collage on Freedom by Charles Kang (BHS Visual Arts student with Sean Parrish)

The Freedom Collection includes a variety of voices with the unifying theme of Freedom at the core. Artists come in various shapes, sizes, ages and fall somewhere along the continuum of novice to expert. We are delighted to include them all!

"Faces Of Freedom" was a two-week long art show that I organized at the beginning of the year. It was on display for two weeks at the Transylvania Community Arts Council with two live expressive arts performances. Feedback after the show suggested trying to put some of the material in the newspaper for a larger audience to see. That seed took root and grew for that future date is here!

Last year, with so much racial tension and strife going on nationwide, I wasn't feeling particularly free. I began to wonder what other people were feeling, particularly our youth. I started to imagine spaces where we could freely share what was on our minds and in our hearts. I envisioned opportunities to express how we were feeling without restriction... free or not free... I wondered what that might look like, especially through a creative and artistic lens. I wanted to reach people of all colors, so that we might all begin to feel cherished, accepted, welcome... heard.

Collage on Freedom by Shea Williams (BHS Visual Arts student with Sean Parrish)–––––––– "My collage is about Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager (18) who was shot and killed Aug. 9, 2014 by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. The shooting caused protest and riots for weeks. On Nov. 24, the grand jury decided not to indict Mr. Wilson. The decisions set off another wave of protest and riots."

So, I put the call out to a diverse group of artists, different ages, professional and non-professional, to express freedom in what-ever way they saw fit. I imagined a coming together of people from all walks of life, Faces Of Freedom, from different cultures, backgrounds... young and old voices expressing their unique take on FREEDOM. For each person, what does freedom look like, feel like? What does it mean to you?

Some of these artists performed in the Faces Of Freedom art show earlier this year. Some of the youthful writers would have shared at the Freedom Walk this year. Winter weather had other ideas and due to excessive absences, the walk was called off. Other artists were art students whose creations really captured some aspect of freedom, or the lack thereof.

Underlying all that you will read and see, there is a unique expression asking to be heard. View with an open mind and heart. Whether or not you share the offered perspectives, I hope that you will appreciate the many voices that make up our Transylvania County family... indeed our world. – Nicola Karesh


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