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Trafficked: Cecilia Lopez

Cecilia Lopez
October 6, 2018 through January 13, 2019

Panel Discussion: Saturday, October 6th from 6-7pm
Opening Reception:  Saturday, October 6th from 7-10pm
tryptich each with a human shadow

There is often a stigma associated with speaking about human trafficking, with many individual leaders and communities failing to acknowledge the levels of trafficking occurring in the United States. The current photography series by Santa Ana-based Cecilia Lopez focuses on the issue as an effort to spark greater dialogue and raise awareness of the voiceless in our society.

For her Grand Central Art Center solo exhibition the artist has created monochromatic images, presented in large format prints and light boxes, with a fascination for shadows and how they are viewed without characterization. Inspired by the work of photographer Diane Arbus, an artist that gave voice to marginalized individuals within society, Lopez generates work that creates a metaphor for those living inside the shadow of human trafficking – the marginalized individuals of today.

In the artist’s own words: “Shadows are seen as the reflection of the subject when in fact they are their entity. They are looked down upon because they are unrecognizable and lack explicit human qualities. Similar to shadows, human trafficking is often misinterpreted, viewed for what it physically involves, which is sex. It is portrayed as an act performed by the actual victim, rather than viewed as the sexual exploitation and criminal act forced upon that individual.”



Saturday, October 6th

To open the exhibition, through the arrangement and moderation of artist Cecilia Lopez, Grand Central Art Center will host a panel discussion focus on the issues of human trafficking in our region.


Jim Carson: An advocate for individuals who have been victims of human trafficking, he has been working in the field for over 25 years. Carson served as Program Manager at the Orangewood Foundation.

Oree Freeman: A sex trafficking survivor who became a victim of human trafficking at the age of 11, sold across the street from Disneyland, “Happiest Place on the Earth.”

Deputy District Attorney Bradley Schoenleben: Schoenleben leads the Human Exploitation and Trafficking (HEAT) Unit, which conducts awareness training on human trafficking through collaboration with other district attorneys’ offices, nonprofits, and law enforcement agencies nationwide.