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What It Feels Like To Be Free


The installation, "WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO BE FREE" is an invitation to consider the sensory experiences of "FREEDOM," and how the expression of our daily freedom can define a life, a nation or humanity. 

Opening Reception: Friday, September 27. 6-8pm. 

Location: Warehouse 21, 1614 Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe, NM 87501

Andrea Vargas facilitated the creation of the immersive art installation titled, "WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO BE FREE” in June and July 2019. This project was one aspect of the Warehouse 21 summer program supported by the City of Santa Fe.

The installation prominently illustrates the portraits of migrant children that have died in the detention camps.  The larger than life portraits hang on paper tapestries that envelope the viewer, depicting doves and flowers that glisten with highlights of gold and silver. The juxtaposition of fine art rendering with student prose and abstract edges gives the installation a raw and honest quality.  Youth ages ten to nineteen contributed to the art installation, some painting for the first time, but inspired by the meaning of the artwork.

Andrea took care to only share the basic facts about the condition of children in detention camps before incorporating student responses.  She shared that since 2017, the cost to detain and torture children has soared from $38.00 a day to $750.000 a day.  With an undisclosed number of children being held in camps, the youngest child taken from parents was only four months old.  The youngest child to die was a year old.  Regardless of the expense, children are currently being denied soap, toothbrushes, blankets, beds, and proper nutrition. Inside the detention camps, children are told not to cry and not to hug.  

Vargas never anticipated the installation would motivate so many young artists to involve themselves.  In testimonials, students share how heart breaking it is to be putting innocent children in detention camps because, "no child should be denied their parents or hugs from loved ones when they're sick and scared.”  Ultimately, over 50 children contributed and determined that there should be “No Children in Cages!"

Visit the website to view a selection of artworks and Care Bags, to be exhibited and for purchase.

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