"Wade In The Water" - Ana M. Robles-Rhoads
Drawing charcoal and chalk
24" x 32" (framed)
Born and raised in Puerto Rico, I relocated to Gainesville in 1987. With a university education in Fine Arts, I was not able to find related employment here in Gainesville. I had family to maintain and all throughout these years up to the present time I held jobs related to social services in many settings, including university students, the elderly and pretty much serving people from all walks of life.
I am currently retired and finally pursuing Art as an important part of myself. That is one of the reasons I feel grateful to the Gainesville Fine Arts Association; for giving me this opportunity and opening the doors for the Artist in me. My drawing "Wade In The Water" is a depiction of Harriet Tubman's Soul crossing the waters to lead slaves to freedom... “Wade In The Water” was used as a freedom song as the lyrics gave geographical hints for a safer travel. To escaping slaves, the song told them to abandon the path and move into the water. Harriet Tubman often sang spiritual-religious folk songs. Everyone who had heard her realized that her song (Wade In The Water) had a double meaning. The Promise Land was the biblical land of Israel, to which Moses led the Jewish people, but Harriet also intended it to mean the northern United States, where she led slaves to be free… “ (Fradin 86)
I can imagine brave Harriet crossing rivers day and night, with no regard for herself and a Spiritual mission to bring slaves to freedom. Guided by the North Star and her faith in God, she has inspired many lives including mine. If our Souls ever feel frail and cold, may the memory of her Soul crossing the waters, recomfort us and bring us warmth, peace and love.