Sarah Slavick “Closing In” (2018), oil on canvas, 24 x 24 inches (image courtesy the artist)

This painting, “Closing In,” was created in July 2018 during a grueling week of sleepless nights full of the haunting voices of separated children, crying for their mamas and papas. The echoes of those cries return when I read about tear gas attacks on migrant families on the border, and children being tortured, drugged, and abused as many remain separated from their parents.

Like many Americans, I’m in a constant, heightened state of stress and shame. These dark times have the potential to enclose us in despair: a daily onslaught of ecological destruction, white supremacy and racism, the dismantling of safety nets and public education, a pandering to the wealthiest among us, and lies, lies, and more lies.

Yet while my stomach churns, I know that hope is a luminous power. It’s the embrace of an opening, a path to transformation, and a way out of the atrocities and terror to an unknown creation, a possible future without fear.

I look for the light, to find community with those who recognize the climate crisis, who believe Black Lives Matter, and who welcome the refugee.

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Sarah Slavick

Sarah Slavick, currently a professor at Lesley University’s College of Art and Design in Boston, has received numerous grants and fellowships including the Mass Cultural Council Grant in Painting. Her...

14 replies on “A Future Without Fear”

  1. Many Americans in stress and shame

    Many ignorant and delusional

    many show up just to stir things up

    and others just don’t know what they’re



    At first I thought your painting was about the resurgence of polio and it’s connection to the JFK assassination theories ( mostly because you’re in Boston, Mass ).

    Then, after reading your article, I felt it was more like a ‘spiritual polio’ that you are addressing – what’s happening to our minds and souls due to …. everything idiotic that’s being stirred up with insane connections, like waving a ‘white supremacist’ flag at an abstract art exhibit for no discernible ‘reason’ at all, only ‘just because I feel like it’, which is the true expression of art indeed, yet not necessarily ‘good art’ at all, especially when it’s consequence will stir up more and more ignorant, self indulgent artists to scream out in the galleries, while quiet contemplative artists are trying to figure out what’s really going on.

    The true artist should deal with what they have stirred up if they are trying to solve the polio assassination problem. You have to take responsibility for your actions, whatever you write , paint or say, or keep it among friends or in the closet or ….

  2. Sarah, thank you for sharing yourself, your art and thoughts .. it takes courage and inspires.
    So sorry you were trolled, but reminder it’s about them, *not* you.

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