Second Annual Picture Freedom Student Art Exhibition Debuts at National Underground Railroad Freedom Center This Weekend

Press Release

Second Annual Picture Freedom Student Art Exhibition Debuts at National Underground Railroad Freedom Center This Weekend


Jamie Glavic
(513) 333-7511
(513) 802-7355

Will Jones
(513) 333-7558
(513) 288-4834


CINCINNATI, OH (February 9, 2017) – The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center’s Second Annual Picture Freedom student art exhibition opens to the public on February 11, 2017. The grand prize winners will attend the opening reception at 1:00 p.m. this Saturday.  The Picture Freedom Art Contest, sponsored by Toyota, encourages students to explore what freedom and equality mean to them by expressing their thoughts through art. The contest was created to help students draw connections from the era of the Underground Railroad to the Civil Rights Movement to the modern day fight against slavery—providing them with a unique opportunity to learn from America’s struggle for freedom and human rights in an engaging way. Students were able to access online resources and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center’s extensive collection of historical resources and exhibitions, enabling them to become better acquainted with freedom’s heroes in person and online.

“The ability to express one’s self through art is a vulnerable and empowering experience,” says Jesse Kramer, Creative Director at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. “Picture Freedom provides a platform for students to show what freedom means to them while providing the public with unique insight into how these very talented students see themselves in the world.”

The grand prize winners being honored Saturday, February 11, are:

Power In Our Hands
Rahzizi Ishakarah, Best of Show
Jackson, MS

Teddy Gray, Second Place
Cincinnati, OH

Fear of Freedom
Serim Kim, Third Place
Buena Park, CA

“The submissions we received and reviewed for this year’s contest were absolutely breathtaking,” says President Dr. Clarence G. Newsome, President of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. “We’re thrilled to honor our grand prize winners this weekend and exhibit the works of each of the twelve finalists from around the country. Prepare to be inspired.”

Other student works included in Picture Freedom are:

A Fate Worse Than Death
Chrystian Butler
Power Academic and Performing Arts Complex
Jackson, MS

History of Freedom
Demetri Burke
Martha Ellen Stilwell School of Arts
Hampton, GA

Price of Freedom
Hannah Finley
Mills High School
Medway, MA

The Freedom of Religion and Press
Nami Samiya
Wakefield High School
Arlington, VA

Let Freedom Fly
Courtney Coates
Western Branch High School
Chesapeake, VA

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop
Shane Armstrong
Washington Lee High School
Arlington, VA

Bunka Taifuu (Culture Typhoon)
Jordan Davis
Cleveland School of Architecture
Cleveland, OH

I Control The Freedom To Be Me
Victoria Wright
Power Academic and Performing Arts Complex
Jackson, MS

Breaking Away From Stereotype
Ashton Hill
Power Academic and Performing Arts Complex
Jackson, MS

The Second Annual Picture Freedom student art exhibition, sponsored by Toyota, opens to the public this Saturday, February 11, 2017, with an opening reception honoring the grand prize winners at 1:00 p.m. The opening reception program is included in general admission.  Picture Freedom is on exhibit through September 2017. For more information about Picture Freedom and other exhibits at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, visit



The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center opened in August 2004 on the banks of the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. Since then, more than 1.3 million people have visited its permanent and changing exhibits and public programs, inspiring everyone to take courageous steps for freedom. Two million people have utilized educational resources online at, working to connect the lessons of the Underground Railroad to inform and inspire today’s global and local fight for freedom. Partnerships include Historians Against Slavery, Polaris Project, Free the Slaves, US Department of State and International Justice Mission. In 2014, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center launched a new online resource in the fight against modern slavery,

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