My painting, Lifted Up on Golden Wings was accepted into a national show to raise awareness of human trafficking and the young age of many of the victims. I am so honored for this opportunity to share my painting with a national audience.
I have an enormous passion for using my art to help the victims of this terrible crime. I will tell the full story one day, but for now, here’s a little more information about this specific painting.
The original painting was purchased by a good friend, and consequently, has become one of my few donated paintings to remain where I can enjoy it. Just before Christmas 2016, it survived a large fire and I had the opportunity to restore it for its owner.
It is pictured here in a booth at Don Byram Art and Antiques, hosted by the Jackson County Arts Council.
Background on the painting, completed in 2015 for the Take Aim at Human Trafficking fundraiser in Hall County, Georgia.
A cultural approach to Human Rights issues
I am an artist. Until now, I have worked predominantly on patriotic and political themes. Some of you know me from Liberatchik, others from MachinePolitick perhaps from both. You may be familiar with my monthly artist reviews of work by pro-American artists, or my occasional blog post about culture and propaganda. I will always work on these themes because I love my country deeply and hope to use my art to inspire love and respect for our Republic.
More recently, though, I have felt compelled to start using my art to help people who cannot help themselves; who live under truly oppressive and subhuman circumstances. With all the talk of slavery in the public forum lately, comparably little has been said about the human trafficking industry. This must change.
I understand the power of art to move men’s minds and impassion their hearts. I hope you understand this as well. I understand that we, as individuals, have a moral responsibility to help those in need on a personal level. I hope you understand this as well. There is already a strong current of resistance building, of abolitionists, to fight the atrocities of human trafficking. You probably have an organization in your area. There are certainly national and global groups you could join or support. Please consider doing so.
I understand that art has the ability to capture the imagination. One of the most affective ways to do this is to develop iconography. Make a visible connection that elicits an emotional connection to the viewer.
The issue of human trafficking and sexual slavery is so horrendous, that most people choose not to understand the magnitude of this international industry. It is more convenient to speak of slavery in terms of something that happened long ago, or is at least an issue in some third-world country, than to admit that it happens right here at home. When you admit that it is real, widespread, and local, you realize that there is a market for such an atrocity; and that is very unsettling, indeed.
It is easy to shut down a web link or turn off a newscast, but once you have seen a piece of art depicting the atrocity, it lives on in your mind indefinitely.
This is not a call for gruesome and graphic works of art. I do not approve of shock art for any purpose. It is a call for advancing understanding of the issue and offering support to the victims and organizations trying to help them piece their lives back together.
In my own limited work, I have attempted to convey the horror of the situation while simultaneously highlighting and upholding the very real solutions available. I have tried to humanize the victims and inspire an understanding of the solutions. Most importantly, I am appealing to you, the viewer, to get involved.
Frances Byrd is the National Director of Liberatchik.com and a contributing writer at Western Free Press and FreedomWorks. Her art can be viewed at LibertasAmericana. She has written for the Big Dawg Music Radio Blog and Breitbart’s Big Hollywood.