Special Limited Time Art Sale to Benefit Freedom of the Press Foundation

Louise Balsmeyer

Director of Development

Freedom of the Press Foundation is thrilled and honored to announce a special limited time sale of artwork, created by artist James Leroy Seward, to benefit our organization in protecting, defending, and empowering public-interest journalism in the 21st Century.

The Embrace

“The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment.” - Robert Hutchins

James Leroy Seward
James Leroy Seward
The Embrace (2019)
Archival Pigment Print on Cotton Rag Paper
20"x 24"
Limited Edition of 50

$1,500

All proceeds raised from the purchase of these prints will go directly to help Freedom of the Press Foundation protect and defend journalists in the 21st century. Freedom of the Press Foundation develops SecureDrop, the anonymous whistleblower submission system used by over 70 news outlets worldwide, conducts digital security trainings for reporters and filmmakers in the U.S. and abroad, documents press freedom violations in the U.S., and advocates for the rights of journalists, their sources, and the public’s right to know.

The following statement from James Leroy Seward explains the significance of the painting and what’s at stake for the democracy we’re all fighting for: 

“I am a new father. As any parent knows, the love you have for your child is profound, as is the desire to protect. I am incredibly grateful that my son was born in one of the oldest Republics in the world, a vibrant civil society that believes in a constitution defending basic human freedoms. I never assumed that my son would grow up in a perfect democracy. I did assume he would grow up in a stable one.

In this painting, I want to portray the idea that our democracy is fragile. This fragility mirrors my experiences of being fathered, and fathering a child.  A child eventually matures into an adult and loses his or her dependency on a parent. However, (as we now know) a democracy never loses its dependency on its citizens. It always has to be nourished and fed.

It is for this reason that I chose to depict Lady Liberty and Uncle Sam—two of our nation’s mightiest symbols—as children. I had begun researching the piece before this administration’s family separation policy went into place, but after those events, the image of a crying infant only felt more fitting.

As the shadow grows over truth and justice, it is imperative that we fight back against ‘fake news’ and protect the rights of the press and the journalists who put their lives at stake to hold the powerful accountable and bring facts to the public. Though our country is currently in a constitutional crisis – which is the moment I am depicting in this visceral painting – it is my hope that we as a nation will reclaim our democracy and restore our faith in the institutions that protect our liberties and values.”

Each print is $1,500 and you can purchase one of the prints by clicking here.

For more information about Freedom of the Press Foundation’s important work, please contact Louise Balsmeyer, Director of Development at Freedom of the Press Foundation, at [email protected]

On behalf of the board and staff at Freedom of the Press Foundation, we thank our supporters, our donors, and the brave journalists and whistleblowers who put their lives on the line. A special thanks to James Leroy Seward for the creation of these prints to benefit our important work and for fighting for the protections and rights we all deserve. We are eternally grateful.

                                                                                          ~

James Leroy Seward studied at the Savannah College of Art and Design, receiving his B.F.A. Seward was awarded the National Scholarship for Portraiture from The American Society of Portrait Artists. Seward was awarded an honorable mention from the director of the Cleveland Museum, Katherine Lee Reid and nationally selected jurors in the 2005 Cleveland Museum of Art’s NEO Show. His painting My Father In The Living Room of Our 10th House was accepted into the first Boochever Portrait Competition at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. and then went on to receive the “People’s Choice Award” as voted by museum visitors from all over the world. James was also a Master painter in the Studio of Jeff Koons for close to a decade. He has exhibited in many galleries throughout the United States. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

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