Hidden symbol in Statue of Liberty inspires local artist to reveal its meaning

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CHICAGO — What motivated the creators of the Statue of Liberty was not art or engineering — it was the idea. But when it was dedicated in 1886, not everyone in America had achieved true freedom.

An artist in Chicago created a series of paintings and sculptures inspired by the Statue of Liberty, reimagining those symbols of freedom to inspire a new generation.

Gerald Griffin wasn’t much of a student at Benito Juarez High School, but a friend noticed him doodling one day and encouraged him. A counselor switched him to art classes. Now, he produces works for everyone from Oprah to Obama.

Pools of paint come to life because Griffin can imagine it, and create a new reality.

He says it’s the same for people — you can’t achieve your dreams, without imagining how life should be different.

“it isn’t so much about white America does for black America, it’s about what black America does for itself,” Griffin said. “When we come together as a family and understand our history and understand that no one can make us whole—we’re already whole. You just don’t think you’re whole. When you realize that different paradigm, you have a paradigm shift.”

WGN's Larry Potash has more.

Website: griffingalleryandinteriors.com

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