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Chanel Hackett

Artist Statement Submitted 2014

After drawing small portraits of Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass, I wanted to continue drawing influential historical African American icons including significant leaders like Rosa Parks and Benjamin Singleton. While searching for an image of Rosa Parks, I came across her mug shot from 1955 when she was arrested for not giving up her seat on an Alabama bus.
That image led me to sixty-four other African American activists who were arrested from December 1955 to December 1956 for the Montgomery Bus Boycott during the civil rights movement. I was so emotionally overwhelmed by the images of these everyday people who became leaders, fighters and risk takers imprisoned for fighting for equal rights, that I felt compelled to recreate their mug shots to inspire similar feelings of anger, empathy and compassion in others and it is my goal to complete all sixty-four.
I want the viewer to really see the faces of these brave individuals who had the strength to change our nation.

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