FSU artist advocates for minorities

Three dimensional layered image illustrating Trayvon Martin. Photos courtesy Myah Freeman

“Unapologetic” is one word that describes Myah Freeman. She understands the criticism and the support that comes with her art.

She is pretty straightforward with her thoughts on other races being able t

Photo of Myah Freeman. Photo courtesy Myah Freeman

o interpret and connect with her work.

“I feel like most people won’t understand my work. It’s expected. That’s fair game. We grew up in different environments and different things affected us. That’s just how it is,” she said.

Black, red and gold are the only significant colors Freeman prefers to incorporate into her black-inspired art when she’s painting or sculpting.

“The black represents us, gold represents our value; our royalty, and what we descend from, and red is the blood,” Freeman said. “Not necessarily the blood that we shed but basically the fight that we put in to get to where we are today.”

Myah Freeman was just like any other child growing up. Art classes were a part of her elementary curriculum and cutting paper and gluing to create something from her adolescent mind was too.

It wasn’t until high school when she saw art becoming her passion and even her voice for her community. Her freshman year in high school, she established her art brand, MyahnArt.

“As a child, I felt like all children did art. But it was like the older I got, I noticed I was more serious about it than other people around me. So that’s when I knew that was my path.”

Freeman is a fine arts major at FSU and focuses her artwork on the beauties and the struggles of the black community.

In February of 2018, the Black Student Union at FSU hosted a student art exposition titled, “Nothing But Art.”

There, Freeman was a

ble to showcase some of her art pieces. One of them was a three-dimensional layered image illustrating Trayvon Martin, a victim of social injustice, shot and killed by George Zimmerman in a Sanford subdivision.

Freeman said that on the back of each layer, she illustrated the story of Trayvon Martin and that her method was heavily influenced by artists Michael Murphy and Shepard Fairey.

“A lot of my work consists of backtracking on the tragedies that we’ve been through as a people when making art about black people, so I make sure I talk about the good things, like how beautiful we are. I don’t want us to be angry,” Freeman said. “So, I’ve done art work on three really important women during the civil rights movement.”

She selected Angela Davis, Kathleen Cleaver, and Nina Simone; three civil rights activists who represented women of color. Each canvas was a portrait of the three activists, painted in black with red words in the background; words that significantly demonstrated something impactful they did during their time.

Recently, Freeman was selected as one of the 2019 FSU Global  Scholars program. More than 30 were selected and were given the opportunity to travel to Senegal to study.  Freeman was in charge of teaching the art classes there.

Kylah Foster, Freeman’s sister, explained what it was like growing up with the artist.

2 Pac portrait commission that was requested by Maya DuBois. Photo courtesy Myah Freeman

“It was shocking watching my sister Myah at a young age find her love for art. From drawing and seeing her develop and discover different styles and techniques. She became passionate about it and wanted to make a difference in her community.”

Freeman accepts painting commissioned assignments for custom

ers such as custom-made hats, portraits, tattoo designs, and more.

One of her most popular works was an art commission request made by her friend Maya DuBois.

“Myah and I actually went to high school together, so I got to witness firsthand her artistic abilities. I’m big on supporting my friends so I knew I wanted to purchase a piece from her,” DuBois said.  “I’ve always been a fan of Tupac. His story has always been interesting to me. I knew I wanted a painting of him, and I knew I wanted it to be done by someone who I knew would serve it justice.”

Freeman said she’s still trying to figure things out as an artist and will never stop representing her community through her gift until her purpose is fulfilled.

“Everybody has a calling, or a purpose and I feel like in order to fulfill your purpose you are equipped with a gift,” she said. “God didn’t just make me artistic for no reason.

“I use my gift to live in my purpose, which is advocating for the black community. I use my gift to do that for my people,” Freeman added.