US artist dedicates artworks to Chibok schoolgirls

US artist dedicates artworks to Chibok schoolgirls

Sunday, November 16, 2014 10:39 pm

Mary Mihelic: celebrates Chibok schoolgirls who escaped

Mary Mihelic: celebrates Chibok schoolgirls who escaped

Mary Mihelic an artist based in Brooklyn, New York in the United States has made 53 artworks to celebrate the heroism of the 53 Chibok schoolgirls who escaped from their Boko Haram abductors last April.

The girls had managed to escape from the abductors who had intially taken 272 of them. Boko Haram militants are still holding on to 219 of the girls, and the movement’s leader, Abubakar Shekau said he had married them off, after converting them to Islam.

“I am inspired by their courage. My 53 artworks bring into play many of the issues that surround the topic including war under the guise of religion, religious freedom, global feminism and education for women. They are a way to remind everyone here in the US about your situation and that we just can’t give up on these kidnapped girls, married or not. They are getting some press here in the US and will be shown in the New York City area in January,” Mihelic said in a note to TheNEWS editors.

One of the artwork alludes to the fact that The Red Cross was working to negotiate the release of the girls.

“The word Red Cross reminds us that religion is under attack. The text art “serpents” reminds us that two of the girls have died from snake bites. And the word Nazarene relates to how Isis has started writing an N for Nazarene on the doors of all the Christians homes in Syria and Iraq eerily similar to what occurred during the holocaust.

One of the artworks for the 53 Chibok schoolgirls

One of the artworks for the 53 Chibok schoolgirls

“It is 60 inches x 44 inches and on paper. It has added meaning since recently the Red Cross also actually got the Boko Haram to recently agree to free all the girls for 30 of their “brethren’s freedom.”

“Prior to their release, the Boko Haram commanders asked to speak with these brethren. Only the Nigerian government could only locate 6 of the Boko Haram prisoners. They do not know what happened to the other 24 prisoners, so the deal fell apart.”

The artworks have been featured in quite a few publications recently: The Brooklyn Eagle, The National Catholic Reporter, The Indian Muslim Observer (New Delhi), the UK’s Church Times, the US Religious News Service, The Broad Side and more.

Mary Mihelic received her Masters of Fine Arts degree from Parsons the New School for Design in 2006.

Since then, her artworks have been shown in New York City, Chicago, L.A., Key West, Vermont and D.C. Prior to getting her M.F.A., Mary studied art extensively at the Museum School in Boston and at the SMFA’s programs in Venice, Italy. Her studio is in Brooklyn, according to some information on her web site.

On the philosophy that drives her work, she says: “In a time when people are leaving churches in record numbers and the historic relationship between religion and the art world has washed away, I make art about those things that bring us to our knees and humble us in 2014: the power of the ocean, the meltdown of a nuclear power plant, the courage of 53 school girls running for their lives…”

More of the artworks for the courageous Chibok girls can be seen here:

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