feature: artist sophia “wetpaint” dawson debuts mixed media exhibit ‘i am free’ at newhouse center for contemporary art

April 11, 2016

Now showing at the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art in Staten Island is TunnelVision artist Sophia “Wetpaint” Dawson’s newest exhibit ‘I Am Free’. The politically charged exhibit features more than 20 large-scale mixed media portraits of incarcerated political prisoners who were jailed for their activism in the 1960s and 70s black liberation movement. Over the past five years, Dawson has exchanged letters with and paid in-person visits with the incarcerated individuals in order to preserve their stories as accurately as possible. “Political prisoners are freedom fighters that challenged the prevailing status quo by fighting for peace, justice, freedom, and struggling against cruel, racist and oppressive conditions enforced by the government’s policies and actions,” says Dawson, “They have been intentionally excluded from mainstream American History. Their stories must not be forgotten.”

‘I Am Free’ will be on exhibition at the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art in Staten Island through May 9th.

By Erin White, AFROPUNK contributor

*Erin White is an Atlanta-based writer and AFROPUNK’s editorial and social media assistant. You can follow her on Tumblr or friend her on Facebook. Have a pitch or an inquiry? Shoot her an email at