BWI Thurgood Marshall hosts charity art exhibition

The purpose of the display is to raise awareness of human trafficking to both the public and the aviation sector

Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) is collaborating with ArtWorks for Freedom, a non-profit organisation, to host two art exhibits aimed at spreading awareness of human trafficking.

According to the airport, some studies suggest it has been estimated that human trafficking/forced labour equates to being a $150bn (£108bn) annual industry.

“For many years, we have worked with artists to present diverse, high-quality exhibits that inspire and inform our travellers. This partnership with ArtWorks for Freedom continues our commitment to provide a positive travel experience for our passengers,” said Ricky Smith, executive director of BWI Marshall.

BWI Airport
Photo BWI Marshall Thurgood Airport

One of the displays at BWI Marshall called ‘What You See Is Not What I Am’ was created in partnership with Groundswell Community Murals of Brooklyn. As part of the teen empowerment apprentice program me, 20 aspiring teenage artists worked on the piece, which consists of a 12-panel installation that focusses on sex trafficking, forced labour and agricultural exploitation.

The other exhibit – ‘Bought and Sold: Voices of Human Trafficking’ – was put together by ArtWorks founder Kay Chernush. This gallery incorporates 15 images, alongside quotes gathered from survivors of human trafficking.

Using creativity to create awareness of these atrocities, the charity’s mission is to promote global action throughout society.

Greg Slater, Maryland Department of Transportation secretary, commented: “As the busiest airport in the region, BWI Marshall is a tremendous platform to reach and engage travellers every day. The airport has a tradition of providing opportunities for local, regional and international artists, and these exhibits with ArtWorks for Freedom represent an important element of that mission.”

BWI believe that the incorporation of art and architectural enhancements are key to providing the best travel experience. Alongside the newly installed exhibitions, the hub has a number of sculptures, paintings and photographs on display.