Freedom at Last by Ms. Ge Ge Morales
Medium Acrylic paint on canvas
Size 9 x 12
Artist statement: This painting represents how excited and beautiful the day of my release would be. My complexion is very pale, but I am mixed with Puerto Rican, Native American, and Black. I wanted to portray that part of my heritage because people of color are more of a target for corrections officers, and are more likely to be impacted by bullying, harassment, brutality, and misconduct, and are incarcerated at higher rates. That is why including people of color who are darker than myself was important to me. The rainbow represents beauty and equality. The handcuffs that are being uncuffed are a representation of freedom at last.
Image description (Alt Text) : GeGe Morales has painted an image of a blue skyline with mountains in the distance, and expansive green hills. There is a single brown skinned hand reaching towards a rainbow on the horizon, with a set of handcuffs hanging from the wrist.
Artist bio: My name is Ms. GeGe, and I am a transgendered female (transitioned from male). I am also the founder of an organization called the L.I.G.H.T Coalition, which is a sister organization of Hearts on a Wire in PA. We strive to educate ourselves and our members on topics like health and law and policy within the PA Department of Corrections so that we can use the tools that are available to us to fight for freedom and abolition of all prisons.
I got started painting in prison during some rough times. I realized that the only way to look beyond was to paint, to see the light through the dark. It was the beauty and brilliance that was sitting just outside. It takes the weight off my shoulders and gives me a sense of calmness. It delights me when I can create something that others can appreciate. My dream is to change the world by creating such a profound piece of work that people are forced to work together to unveil its true meaning. My art has changed over the years from a tiny abstract painting that I gave to my brother, to now when I’m painting murals for my prison. I just love to paint.