AVMA Convention 2024 Daily News Saturday

Celebrating Freedom Day with fine art, food trucks

AVMA Convention 2024 kicked off on Friday in Austin, Texas, just two days after the Juneteenth holiday, also known as Freedom Day. It was on June 19, 1865, in this very state where the last enslaved African Americans were informed of their freedom, marking a historic chapter in U.S. history.

The Food Festival Friday, held outside the Austin Convention Center, set the stage for a weekend that will continue to emphasize the AVMA’s dedication to celebrating diversity, equity, and inclusion within the veterinary community and beyond.

During the event, local Austin artist Samara Barks, also known as Mixed Hues, created a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork dedicated to the celebration of this significant day. Her artistic style is a unique blend of exaggerated realism and comic-book style, often featuring people of color, specifically Black people, in spaces where they aren't likely to be represented. Barks’s artwork can be seen throughout Austin and beyond as she strives to create a world that reflects the diversity and inclusivity she values.

The completed 8-by-8 foot mural has been entered into the VetArtNow art auction, and can be bid on until noon on Monday. All proceeds will benefit the American Veterinary Medical Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund. (Photos by Malinda Larkin)