In You We Trust is collaboration between artists Jen Rose and Marian Lefeld in an effort to bring awareness to the epidemic of sex trafficking of children in the United States. Sex trade is the world’s fastest growing illegal industry today, gaining ground and surpassing that of illegal drugs. After all, drugs are sold only once, while a person can be sold over and over in a pattern that is essentially modern-day slavery. Studies cited by law enforcement and advocacy groups conservatively estimate that 100,000 children are enslaved in the sex trade in the United States. Many of these children are homeless or runaways. The Dallas Independent School District reports that six thousand of its students are homeless. Studies from the National District Attorneys Association estimate that one out of every three children will be approached by a pimp within 48 hours of being on the street. Staggeringly, this means that two-thousand children are approached by a pimp each year in Dallas county alone. Rose and Lefeld aim to create an installation that will bring attention to this social issue and open pathways for discussion and awareness to a wider public.
Keeping the number ‘2000’ in mind the artists will create two thousand gold coins representing the number of children trafficked on the Dallas Streets. The coins will be six inches in diameter and will be made from clay. On the front of each coin there will be a bas-relief of either a girl or a boy and the other side of the coin will read “IN YOU WE TRUST” with the emblem of a crown. The crown references a specifically Dallas phenomenon of pimps referring to themselves as “King (insert name of pimp)” and girls are often branded with tattoos of gold coins or crowns. Each clay coin we make will be finished in gold leaf. This installation will open to the public at Richland College in the fall of 2016.
BLOOD OF HEROES
BLOOD OF HEROES
The Art and History departments at Richland College created an installation of 5,171 ceramic poppies—one red poppy for every Texas soldier who died in 'The Great War', and a yellow poppy honoring a Texas nurse who died in the War. The red poppy as the symbol of fallen veterans is a tradition Moina Belle Michael gave to the world. One hundred and one years ago, the First World War led to the deaths of 16 million soldiers and civilians. On November 2015, Richland College honors the sacrifice of Texas veterans who gave their lives for freedom in World War I through visual and performing arts.
Later that year, the city of Georgetown, Texas, hosted our poppies and with the sales from both installations, we raised $25000 towards Puppies Behind Bars, an organization teaching inmates to raise and train service dogs for war veterans.