"Freedom of Worship," Asnake Melessa, 2011  ©Asnake Melessa. All rights reserved. Courtesy Embassy of the United States, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“Freedom of Worship,” Asnake Melessa, 2011 ©Asnake Melessa. All rights reserved. Courtesy Embassy of the United States, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Tonight, May 5, Norman Rockwell Museum will present its final Four Freedoms Forum of the season, covering the timely topic of renewable/sustainable energy. Free and open to the public, this new program was inspired by Norman Rockwell’s iconic Four Freedoms paintings, which in turn were inspired by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 1941 address to Congress, articulating his vision for a postwar world founded on four basic human freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.

2011 marks the 70th anniversary of President Roosevelt’s historic speech, and celebrations are being held around the world to mark the occasion. In January, the Embassy of the United States in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, announced the winners of an art competition where artists were invited to express their own interpretations of the four freedoms. A panel of judges, including Norman Rockwell Museum Director /CEO Laurie Norton Moffatt, selected four winning art works for awards, depicting each of the four freedoms. Ms. Norton Moffatt was invited by the U.S. Embassy to visit Addis Ababa in January to not only serve as a judge for the art competition, but also conduct a series of programs for local artists, art students, museum officials and curators. Her lecture on Norman Rockwell’s life and work included slides of the artist’s 1964 visit to Ethiopia to create illustrations on the Peace Corps, which also celebrates 50 years of humanitarian service this year.

Winning entries in Four Freedoms Art Competition:

Freedom from Fear: Robel Berhane
Freedom of Speech: Birtukan Dejene
Freedom of Worship: Asnake Melesse
Freedom from Want: Haron Sulieman

Enjoy a slideshow of all entries to the art contest below, courtesy of the U.S. Embassy and all artists who took part:

Created with flickr slideshow.


Read more about Museum Director Laurie Norton Moffatt’s travels to Ethiopia this past year:

*Art Can Change The World
*Ardent Arts Leaders in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
*The Four Freedoms in Ethiopia
*Art Students at Addis Ababa University School of Fine Arts
*Four Freedoms Exhibition at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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