The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, on behalf of the East Texas Research Center (ETRC), Ralph W. Steen Library, Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA), was awarded a Humanities Texas mini-grant to provide programming for the opening reception of the Portraits of Freedom art exhibition, June 11, 2015. A $1,000 grant from Humanities Texas paid the honoraria for two guest speakers, Dr. Douglas Chambers from the University of Southern Mississippi and Dr. Daina Berry from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Chambers spoke about runaway slaves in the Atlantic World and Dr. Berry about Juneteenth and the Civil War in Texas. Eighty-three people attended the opening reception and survey results showed a very positive response to the evening.
Portraits of Freedom is a juried student art exhibition featuring runaway slaves from newspaper advertisements compiled by the Texas Runaway Slave Project (TRSP). The exhibition features drawings, lithographs, paintings, and screen prints created by art students at SFA, Texas Christian University (TCU) and Lamar University (Lamar). Interpretative panels contextualize the art. The exhibit opened June 13th for the 26th annual Texas Blueberry Festival and closed September 25th. The exhibition had 605 visitors.
Ainsworth, Kyle, ""Portraits of Freedom" Opening Reception and Art Exhibition Grant Report for Humanities Texas" (2015). Library Faculty and Staff Publications. 19.
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