Latest Arts Center Exhibit to End this Sunday

Released by Tameka Kenan-Norman

This Sunday, Dec. 13, 2015, will mark the last day for the exhibit, “Color in Freedom.” You are encouraged to visit the Maria V. Howard Arts Center to see the exhibition that captures the stories of slaves and their determination to achieve freedom. “Color in Freedom: Journey along the Underground Railroad,” is currently on display at the center and is a collection of paintings, etchings and drawings of what people experienced during this journey.

“Color in Freedom” was done by artist Joseph Holston, and the exhibition was facilitated by International Arts & Artists.

The Maria V. Howard Arts Center is located inside the Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences, located at 270 Gay Street, in Rocky Mount NC.

“This exhibition depicts the emotions and perseverance of African-American slaves through slavery and into their freedom,” says Alicyn Wiedrich, curator for the Maria V. Howard Arts Center.

According to Wiedrich, the exhibition, now housed on the second floor of the galleries, is open through December 13, 2015 and consists of 50 works total, including 32 paintings that take the visitor through various periods.

“It goes through four periods called movements,” states Wiedrich. “These movements are when slaves arrived in America, living in bondage, the journey of escape and the color in freedom.”
The images are all approximately 42 inches across and emphasize fine details with color.

“He (artist Joseph Holston) has blank characterizations of people, but the emotions that come across with color alone is expressive,” notes Wiedrich. “He is trying to make an artistic expression of what the Civil Rights Movement meant in general.”

“Color in Freedom: Journey along the Underground Railroad” has been showcased in Indiana, Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Switzerland, Ohio, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina and North Carolina (Durham). It was noticed by Wiedrich through the traveling exhibition facilitators, International Arts and Artists.

“I hope visitors will gain an understanding that art doesn’t have to be a photograph,” said Wiedrich. “It can be something bright or something emotional and can tell a story.”

Alongside “Color in Freedom: Journey along the Underground Railroad,” is the documentary, “Origins of the Dream.” A research project by Dr. Jason Miller of NC State University, “Origins of the Dream” highlights Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech” and its connection to poetry by Langston Hughes. Miller uses the original audio of the speech King made in Rocky Mount in 1962 and remastered it.

Admission to the exhibit and to view the documentary is free. The Maria V. Howard Arts Center is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm and on Sundays from 1pm to 5pm. For more information, call 252.972.1266.

Please note that although “Color in Freedom” will end this Sunday, “Origins of the Dream” may be seen again at the arts center starting February 2016. The Maria V. Howard Arts Center website is

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Kay Whatley serves as Editor and Reporter with The Grey Area News. Kay is a published author with over 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. Kay Whatley is wife to Frank Whatley, founder of The Grey Area™ newspaper and The Grey Area News online news website.