Amanda Chestnut: Freedom Can’t Wait

"Freedom Can't Wait" was inspired by the NAACP Stop Lynching buttons. Their anti-lynching campaign began in 1910. To date, the 2018 Justice of Lynching Act has yet to pass the U.S. House of Representatives and be signed into law. From 1882-1968, 4,743 lynchings occurred in the United States. Of the people that were lynched, 3,446 were black. Lynching continues in America today. No one is free until we all are.

Amanda Chestnut’s work focuses on the representation of history – and in particular, how the history of race and gender impacts modern narratives. Her art has been exhibited in Rochester at Firehouse Gallery, Joe Brown Gallery, University of Rochester, and High Falls Art Gallery at the Center at High Falls. She was formerly a resident at the Center for Photography at Woodstock in Woodstock, NY, and at Genesee Center for the Arts & Education in Rochester, NY.

She has held graduate assistantships at Visual Studies Workshop and the Criminal Justice Department, both at the College at Brockport in Rochester. Chestnut holds an MFA graduate of Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, NY. As an artist interested in both upending and interpreting traditional definitions of the archive, she pairs archival images and text with contemporary imagery and her own perspective to convey the history, emotion, and lasting socio-economic impact of the past. Her previous works incorporate photographic poems that draw from archival imagery, text-based poems, and Chestnut’s hair.

Most recently Chestnut curated “Verified” a group exhibition at Loud Cow in Spencerport, NY, and the Rochester Biennial at the Rochester Contemporary Art Center (RoCo). To learn more about Amanda Chestnut, her personal artistic and curatorial endeavors visit

Instagram: @blk_amanda