A happenstance encounter years ago with a tossed-aside newspaper became both a learning experience and a metaphor for South Florida-based artist Rhona Rubio, whose massive interactive installation will provide both the focal point and the impetus for a free workshop on how to stop human trafficking from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, August 4 at ArtServe, 1350 E. Sunrise Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale.
Inspired by her artwork, ArtServe’s August 4 free workshop is a collaboration between ArtServe and A21, one of the largest organizations in the world fighting human trafficking. During the workshop educators and families will learn how to create Child Trafficking-Free Zones in schools and communities. Ancillary children’s activities will be provided during the two-hour presentation.
To register, click here.
Entitled “Stories,” Rubio’s creation, a dark, sprawling interlaced, intricate network of twisted metal and human faces painted on various textured recycled fabrics stretched tight across vise-like frames, will be unveiled during the workshop and enable viewers to actually participate by bringing their own piece of cloth to fasten onto pre-made links encircling the structure.
“I wanted to create a way that people could relate to the fact that we all have our own personal stories of suffering,” Rubio said. “By attaching their own symbolic piece of cloth to the artwork, their story can become one with those of human trafficking victims, giving us all a way to open up and listen to one another. Our stories of pain and silence have the power to connect us.”
“Stories” will be displayed at ArtServe in conjunction with the award-winning non-profit’s current “Memories and Revolutions” exhibition that runs through September 23.
“Hidden in plain sight, human trafficking tears at the social fabric of nations, economies and, on the granular level, in schools and other parts of our community,” ArtServe curator Sophie Bonet explained in reference to the artwork’s use of fabric.
The installation also will include a jumble of shoes on the floor to represent the “unseen” victims of human trafficking, along with a “freedom box” filled with seeds representing the “seeds of injustice” into which guests will be encouraged to step into to experience their “power to sprout and grow into a source of justice for future generations.”
“Indeed, the fabrics used in ‘Stories’ show that, like human trafficking victims, there are things in life hidden in the trash that can be recycled and used for something better,” Rubio added, explaining that the fabrics she used to create “Stories” were culled from thrift stores.
About the Workshop
Building on Rubio’s artistic mission to stop the social injustice of modern slavery, ArtServe’s August 4 workshop event will feature national speakers Tanya Goodwin from the Tim Tebow Foundation and A21’s Education Curriculum Specialist Valerie Ellery, a veteran educator and best-selling author.
Together, they will present A21’s K-12 educational curriculum on human trafficking prevention designed to protect children and offer ways to help educate others. Among the topics to be discussed include:
- What is human trafficking?
- How does human trafficking affect Florida?
- What are the resources available to support prevention and awareness in schools?
- What actions can be taken to help abolish this injustice?
To register for the event and view biographical information on the speakers, click here.
ArtServe inspires, supports and advances its diverse members, artists and community by promoting artistic development, education and prosperity through the exploration and presentation of the visual and performing arts. For more information, visit www.artserve.org. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.
Named a “2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit” by GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of user reviews of charities and nonprofits, Fort Lauderdale-based ArtServe is an award-winning arts incubator that is advancing the arts for social good as a creative laboratory and hub for experimental artists committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. Now in its 35th year, ArtServe has won several awards for innovation in the arts and is supported in part by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council and Florida’s Department of State and the Division of Cultural Affairs. Each year, ArtServe programs contribute tangibly to the region’s economy, helping 2,000+ artists sell their work, build businesses and engage the community. To do that, ArtServe secures financial support through donations, sponsorships and memberships.
Become a member of ArtServe as either an artist or community member at www.ArtServe.org/member or become a founding member of Friends of ArtServe at www.ArtServe.org/friends. Requests and questions about the ArtServe facility or programs can be emailed to information@ArtServe.org