Gold! Gold is beautiful! Gold is for royalty! Gold is forever! When my husband asked me what kind of wedding ring I wanted, I told him, "A simple gold band." It's perfect. Now, close your eyes for a moment and imagine what it would feel like to work with gold and leave your mark on this most beautiful metal! Welcome to ArtWorks for Freedom's newest partnership, the Golden Doors to Freedom project with master gilder William Adair!
The Golden Doors to Freedom initiative is a participatory art project that turns abandoned doors into dramatic vehicles to raise awareness about human trafficking. Participants experience the thrill of holding genuine 23-karat gold leaf in their hands and applying it to the door. They will then write, draw, stencil, scratch, burnish and embellish the door with their own stories, feelings, hopes and dreams as they transform the ordinary discarded door into something extraordinary.
We are so excited to launch this initiative, which not only creates a striking visual presentation, but also brings people into the art-making process to form a community that addresses human trafficking together. The Golden Doors to Freedom made its debut at the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS)—the largest annual heavy-duty trucking event in the world, which was held during March 31 – April 2. Below, you can read a recap of our experience at MATS, which was made possible through a partnership with Truckers Against Trafficking.
Our goal is to create a series of doors that will be made by allies in the fight against human trafficking - including community organizations, educational institutions and government agencies - as well as communities of survivors to stress the importance of working together and encouraging one another.
The Golden Doors to Freedom initiative will be a feature of our campaign at the University of Wisconsin-Madison later this month, where we are presenting several art activities and exhibits to coincide with the university’s 2016 Summit on Women, Gender and Well Being. On Thursday evening, April 14, I will be joined by CBS Travel Editor Peter Greenberg to lead a discussion about “Human Trafficking: What’s the Real Story?” Along with the Golden Doors, a full schedule of arts presentations will be held. Please read more about our University of Wisconsin-Madison campaign below.
We’re so encouraged that our work continues to resonate with new partners, artists and people who attend our campaigns. We would not be where we are today without your support! We hope you’ll continue to share ArtWorks for Freedom with your friends and encourage them to join our community!
Allyson Taylor, head of the Office of Child Abuse, signs the truckers' Golden Door to Freedom for herself and Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear at the 2016 Mid-America Trucking Show.
Last week, ArtWorks for Freedom debuted our Golden Doors to Freedom initiative at the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) in Louisville, KY. This project is a new addition to our arts portfolio, led by one of our brilliant contributing artists, William Adair. As a master gilder, frame conservator and frame historian, Adair brings his extensive knowledge of working with gold leaf to this exciting conceptual art project, which brings everyone into the art-making process.
During our debut at MATS, we asked people what they knew about human trafficking and what they had learned from the Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) multimedia exhibit. They then wrote messages of encouragement and solidarity on an abandoned old door that was covered in gold leaf, transforming it into a striking reflection of the trucking community’s commitment to end human trafficking.
We couldn’t have debuted the initiative at such an important event without our partnership with TAT as well as financial support from the Embrey Family Foundation and the generous in-kind donation of gold leaf from Sepp Leaf Products!
ArtWorks contributing artist William Adair prepares the Truckers Against Trafficking logo for gilding.
The TAT team (l to r) Michelle, Kendis, Molly, Helen and Kylla.
Truckers’ Golden Door to Freedom after Day 2, with William Adair and Kay Chernush.
Beautiful messages of hope on our Golden Door from the MATS community!
Check out the Golden Doors to Freedom featured on WHAS 11 ABC news in Louisville!
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Our latest campaign takes ArtWorks for Freedom to the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW). Throughout the month of April, ArtWorks for Freedom will mount our arts-based human trafficking awareness campaign at UW in partnership with The STREETS Project (see our partner spotlight below).
The campaign runs jointly with the 2016 Summit on Women, Gender and Well Being where ArtWorks Executive Director Michele Clark will be joined by CBS Travel Editor Peter Greenberg in a discussion about “Human Trafficking: What’s the Real Story?” on Thursday evening, April 14.
During the campaign, ArtWorks will present our exhibits and participatory arts activities, including:
Bought & Sold: Voices of Human Trafficking: An outdoor photoraphy exhibit by ArtWorks for Freedom Founder and Artistic Director Kay Chernush, at the Chazen Museum of Art.
What You See is Not Who I Am: A striking series of murals created in partnership with Groundswell, through its Teen Empowerment Mural Apprentice program, at Edgewood College.
The Red Sand Project w/ Fine Art Prints by Molly Gochman: A participatory art installation created by Molly Gochman that invites people to fill sidewalk cracks with red sand to make visible the marginalized and vulnerable members of society. An exhibition of Ms. Gochman’s fine art prints derived from the Red Sand Project will also be presented at The Pyle Center.
Golden Doors to Freedom w/ Water Color Exhibit by William Adair: Trafficking survivors and student leaders will, separately, turn two abandoned doors into dramatic vehicles for communal focus on human trafficking. Fine art concept watercolors by Mr. Adair - the inspiration for the golden door installations - will be exhibited at the Overture Center for the Arts. Doors provided as an in-kind donation by Crescent Moon Antiques and Salvage.
For our University of Wisconsin - Madison campaign, we are grateful to work with our partner, The STREETS Project (Social Transformation to End Exploitation and Trafficking for Sex), which is part of the university’s broader 4W Initiative. Through 4W, the University of Wisconsin-Madison acts as a leading voice in education, applied research and impactful engagement to promote the well-being of women across the globe. Through education, convening and research, STREETS acts as a hub for students, faculty and alumni who are actively engaged in anti-trafficking work. STREETS also supports a statewide consortium of health providers who work with trafficking survivors and collaborates with policymakers on other initiatives in the state.
According to Dr. Jean Geran, Co-Director of STREETS, partnering with Artworks for Freedom on the UW campaign fits perfectly into the overall approach that the organization takes when addressing human trafficking.
"What ArtWorks is about is really what STREETS is about, which is collaboration. We're trying to promote the links between research and practice, which doesn't often happen,” Geran says, “And we are emphasizing the importance of getting survivors involved in the conversation around what really works as good practice."
Special Events & Community News
CASTLETON IN PERFORMANCE PRESENTS:
A TIME TO BREAK SILENCE
A FUNDRAISER FOR ARTWORKS FOR FREEDOM
Castleton in Performance (CiP) presents “A Time to Break Silence," an annual series that brings together activists, artists, educators and musicians for one night to shine a spotlight on a range of social issues. ArtWorks President & Artistic Director Kay Chernush will present photographs from her work documenting human trafficking in the Thai fishing industry to help break silence about modern day slavery.
This event will raise funds for ArtWorks and Doctors Without Borders.Tickets are $30.Purchase tickets or make a contribution HERE.
Below: Drawing by Prum Vannak, a Cambodian farmer trafficked onto a Thai fishing boat and held at sea for 3 years
WORLD BANK 1-IN-3 EXHIBIT BALL STATE UNIVERSITY
January 21 - May 8
Thirty selected images from the photo exhibit “Borderless Captivity,” by Kay Chernush, are part of the World Bank 1-in-3 Exhibit at the David Owsley Museum at Ball State University from Jan 21 – May 8. The 1-in-3 Exhibit displays photographs, paintings, sculpture, and video created by international, emerging contemporary artists that directly confront gender-based violence (GBV).
ArtWorks for Freedom's Wisconsin awareness campaign continues from the University of Wisconsin-Madison to Racine, WI, in partnership with the Racine Coalition Against Trafficking during the month of May.
Selected images from "Bought & Sold: Voices of Human Trafficking" will be on display at the aSHEville Museum in Asheville, NC, during the months of June, July and August.
Join our community of concerned citizens and help ArtWorks for Freedom raise worldwide consciousness of human trafficking. DONATE TODAY