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F5: Sophia Dawson Tells Us About the Driving Force in Her Life + More

03.18.22 | By
F5: Sophia Dawson Tells Us About the Driving Force in Her Life + More
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Sophia Dawson is a Brooklyn-based visual artist who has dedicated her life’s work to sharing the stories and experiences of those who are striving to overcome injustices they face, both individually and collectively. By raising awareness, she aims to humanize social justice issues and prevent such experiences from being repeated. Some of the people featured in Sophia’s work include mothers who have lost their children to police brutality, the Exonerated 5, and political prisoners from the Black Liberation movement who are still incarcerated within the United States.

Sophia holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the School of Visual Arts and a masters degree in visual arts administration from New York University. Her work has recently been exhibited in Rush Arts Gallery and the Bronx Museum for the Arts, as well as at the 2020 US Open. Sophia also facilitates art workshops at Rikers Island through her company, I Am Wet Paint. She became a member of the faculty of the Fine Art Department at the School of Visual Arts in 2020, and that same year was one of three artists selected to design the Black Lives Matter street mural for Foley Square in New York City. Sophia’s public art for the movement was featured in Forbes Magazine, on New York 1, and on ABC Nightline.

Today, Sophia Dawson joins us for Friday Five!

dark-skinned woman with long black hair wearing an abstract, colorful top

dark-skinned woman draped in white cloth

Photo: Kingdom Full Tabernacle International Ministries

1. Prayer

Prayer is a huge part of my life. Over the last 5+ years, I’ve discovered my place called “there” in Kingdom Full Tabernacle International Ministries under the leadership of Apostle Dominic Osei and Prophetess Lesley Osei. Prayer has become an essential and central part of my life. My Apostle always says, “Life is warfare, it does not give you what you deserve but sometimes what you fight for.”

group of young brown-skinned people gathered together

Sophia sits atop her brother’s shoulders on the left \\\ Photo: Dawson Family

2. Testimony

When I look back over my life and I think things over, I can truly say that I’ve been blessed I have a testimony! The lyrics from this praise song speaks to a sentiment that I think of every day. I am forever grateful for the gift that God placed inside of me. I am privileged to have discovered it, and blessed to be able to utilize it in my lifetime.

dark-skinned couple cuddling on sofa

Photo: Sophia Dawson

3. My Fiancé

One of the biggest blessings in my life is my fiancé, David Victor. He is truly and answered prayer and also physical evidence that the Lord literally goes exceedingly, abundantly above and beyond all that we could ever ask or think.

two dark-skinned people embracing outdoors

Sophia and her son

4. Becoming a Mother

Becoming a mother had a such an enormously positive impact of my life. I was young, unprepared, and not in a position to truly take care of myself, let alone another human being. Yet God gave me a supernatural grace and also a family and village to help raise him. I still don’t know why God trusted me with such a gift, but I am grateful for his life. Being a mother forced me to get my priorities in order and to live sacrificially for the sake of my responsibilities.

dark-skinned woman wearing an apron and rubber gloves painting a girl on a large wall or canvas

5. Art Therapy

I am in my first year of an Art Therapy masters program at the School of Visual Arts. Through this program, God revealed to me just how important and impactful being an artist has been in my life. When I look back, I remember how through all of life’s challenges I have been able to continue to create. It brings me peace, joy, and a sense of fulfillment. It is a privilege and an honor to use this God given gift in service of others.

 

Work by Sophia Dawson:

portrait of Black boy with paint and collage

Wayne, 2019, oil and mixed media on canvas, Portrait of a young Wayne, one of Sophia’s students detained at Rikers Island. \\\ Photo: Sequoyah Daniel-Robinson

two paneled mural with mother and baby and man's portrait

Family Portrait, 2018, acrylic and mixed media on canvas \\\ Mural featuring mothers who have lost their children due to police brutality, racism, gun violence. The mural is installed permanently in Newark, New Jersey and was commissioned by Yendor Arts and the City of Newark. \\\ Photo: Sequoyah Daniel-Robinson

painting of Black boy

Korey Wise, 2012, acrylic and mixed media on canvas \ Portrait of a Young Korey Wise of the Exonerated 5. \ Photo: Sequoyah Daniel-Robinson

colorful mural on wall

Every Mother Mural, 2017, acrylic and parachute cloth on wall \\\ Mural featuring mothers who have lost their children due to police brutality, racism, gun violence. The mural is installed permanently in Newark, New Jersey and was commissioned by Yendor Arts and the City of Newark. \\\ Photo: Sequoyah Daniel-Robinson

Kelly Beall is senior editor at Design Milk. The Pittsburgh-based graphic designer and writer has had a deep love of art and design for as long as she can remember, and enjoys sharing her finds with others. When undistracted by great art and design, she can be found making a mess in the kitchen, consuming as much information as possible, or on the couch with her three pets. Find her @designcrush on social.