CREATE Portage County launched a program called Paint the County. The program allows local artists to tell visual stories as Stephon Kiba Freeman did with his visualization of how his daughter sees the world through books on the Worzalla mural. Get the inside scoop on the artist and his "controlled chaos" style with our Meet the Artist series.Header photo from @worzallabooks
A transplant from Chicago, Illinois, Stephon Kiba Freeman has been an artist since the day he can remember. While he didn't start painting until after graduating college, he first got inspired to be creative while on a bus or at a bus stop with his mom. He had seen someone drawing and decided he wanted to try it out when he got home. Since then, it has been natural for him to be creative. To this day though you will not see Freeman painting with a brush.
Stephon and his family tend to travel a lot, so one thing he would love to create would be a mural in every state as a tour with his daughter and her whimsical nature.
When it comes to a challenge, the Worzalla mural was the biggest challenge Stephon had ever faced. Before coming across the Paint the County initiative, he had already been working on a painting involving his daughter and how she sees the world through books. After coming across the call for the initiative, he reviewed site options and realized the layout of the Worzalla building matched with the idea he wanted to create.
One of Freeman's favorite things about creating the mural was that he was able to cement his daughter, Soraiya, at a place and point in time. His daughter loved the mural and got to see parts of it while he was working. The silhouette however wasn't added until the end where he got to record her reaction to seeing the "big Soraiya".
Another thing he also enjoyed about the project was that the image can reach multiple people through different themes, regardless of if you are an avid reader or not. People are all able to appreciate the whimsical nature of the piece.
Chai & Tae Kwon Do
Since moving to the Stevens Point Area in 2009, some of Freeman's favorite spots in the area include the Coffee Studio where you can find him enjoying a spiced chai. Biking with his daughter to local playgrounds like Bukolt. Or Five Rings Martial Arts studio where he is a third-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Want to know where you might spot Freeman locally? Check out any art-related event as he is usually in attendance even if he isn't participating.
Looking for more art from Stephon? While he is always posting his work on his website and social media channels, you can find more of his artwork on display like the Worzalla mural. For instance, check out another mural of his in Milwaukee in the Black Cat Alley, two murals inside the Hostel Shoppe bike store, in Five Rings waiting room, or at any art event he attends.
Keep up with Kiba Freeman Art on social media @kibafreemanart or his website. Looking for more on local art? Take a look at must-see murals or public art in plain view. Then while you're out viewing the art, share your photos with us @stevenspointarea on Instagram or use #stevenspointarea!