College of the Redwoods presents the traveling exhibition, In You We Trust, a collaborative project between Dallas, TX based artists Jen Rose and Marian Lefeld, on display Oct 9 to Nov 9. This project aims to bring awareness to the epidemic of sex trafficking in the United States and the exhibit will feature a series of enlarged ceramic coins crafted and displayed to represent the practice of using humans as currency.
Studies cited by law enforcement and advocacy groups conservatively estimate that 100,000 children are enslaved in the sex trade in the United States. According to a 2016 article entitled “In Secretive Marijuana Culture, Whispers of Abuse and Trafficking” by Shoshana Walter, Humboldt County reported 352 missing people, more per capita than any other county in the state. This article, researched by the Center for Investigative Reporting, details dozens of accounts of people being taken advantage and held against their will while working in the hills. Many of these people are immigrants, homeless, or runaways. In You We Trust gives a visual form to the statistics. The word “You” in In You We Trust is a call to action of the viewer. Rose and Lefeld bring an installation that will call attention to this social issue and open pathways for discussion and awareness to a wider public.
The artists will be on campus on Monday, Oct 9 from 11-6 p.m. and Tuesday, Oct 10 from 11-4 p.m. offering space and materials in the gallery for community members to participate in the project by pressing a ceramic coin. On Monday, Oct 9, Rose and Lefeld will give a lecture in the Creative Arts Building, Room 136 from 3-4 p.m. discussing In You We Trust and other advocacy driven art projects. An opening reception for the exhibition will follow from 4-6 p.m. in the Creative Arts Gallery. These events are free and the public is welcome to attend.
The finished coins are available for purchase in the Gallery until Nov 9. Proceeds of sales will benefit The Raven Project and Game Over, two local organizations that work to support youth and adults who are vulnerable to sex trafficking or who have been victims of this crime.
The Creative Arts Gallery is located on the CR Eureka main campus, in the Creative Arts Complex at the campus north entrance, and is open Mondays and Wednesdays 10 am to 4 pm, Tuesdays 10 to 6 pm, Thursdays 12 to 6 pm and by appointment. Please contact (707) 476-4559 for more information.
Programming for In You We Trust is supported by College of the Redwoods Student Equity and the College of the Redwoods Clay Club.