Artwork by Oglethorpe alumna and Employer Relations Manager Nicole Kang ’13 was recently featured in an Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) solidarity project.
Three of her pieces were displayed prominently in vivid color on the LED screens over the Peachtree MARTA station in downtown Atlanta, and each would slowly carousel throughout the day, splashing her artwork across the station entrance for passersby to appreciate.
Kang’s artwork was installed in May, which is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month. The campaign was created by For Freedoms, an artist-led organization dedicated to showcasing the voices of artists in public discourse through billboards. In addition to celebrating AAPI heritage, the campaign also brought awareness to a wave of anti-Asian hate around the United States.
Kang had three original pieces included in the campaign, including one depicting her late mother, titled “I’ll reap what you sow.”
“This campaign resonated with me in profound ways, particularly in light of recent hate crimes against the Asian community. My art is not inherently political as so much as it is my truest expression of myself,” says Kang, “To see my portrait of my mother projected on a massive screen in downtown Atlanta is a feeling I will always treasure.”
For Freedoms reached out to Kang through Instagram, where she regularly posts her art. She responded and was immediately accepted. To her, this was a highlight of her career.
Ever since she was just a kindergartener in Korea, she had dreamed that, one day, she would grow up to become an artist. She had continued her love of art through school, happily doodling and creating art for herself. After participating in the Governor’s Honors Program, she became more serious about making art a career. When Kang arrived at Oglethorpe in 2009, she explored art in new and exciting ways.
“Professor of Art Alan Loehle let me explore my ideas and with materials far beyond the syllabus,” says Kang, “I am deeply thankful for his guidance when I was his student.”
Kang graduated from Oglethorpe University in 2013 with a degree in Studio Art. Since graduating, she has worked at the Alliance Theatre as an Education Customer Service Associate and at Oglethorpe University as a Special Events Manager and, most recently, as the Employer Relations Manager. Since last year, Kang has been featured on Oglethorpe’s YouTube channel hosting Featured Employer Fridays where she talks to representatives from metro Atlanta companies that are looking to hire Oglethorpe students. In April, she organized an alumni panel of AAPI graduates to discuss recent negative sentiment towards the AAPI community in the U.S.
For more on Nicole Kang and her work, visit her website.