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Release Date: October 12,2023

Akron Soul Train Winter Exhibitions

Thursday, October 12, 2023, Akron, Ohio — Opening reception Friday, November 10, 5:00 PM - 7:30 PM. Closing reception and Artist-in-Residence 2024 Announcement Friday, December 16, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Exhibits are free and open to the public Wednesday, November 8 through Friday, December 16

Artist Poet Raja Belle Freeman’s Exhibit “Consider This Your Trigger Warning” Demands Attention

“Consider This Your Trigger Warning” is Raja Belle Freeman’s collection of political poetry presented with her visual art. The mixed genre aesthetic both reminds the audience to look and listen. “Trigger Warning” presents juxtaposed imagery, one side shows society uplifting the black man, respecting and loving him, seeing his beauty. On the other side, society’s complacency with the black man’s destruction in the most gruesome and public way. Coupled with striking poetry this exhibit seeks to sensitize a society once more and to fight for what should not be buried.

“I found myself regularly discussing the cyclical nature of the consumption of Black bodies in the media. Someone was killed, we'd mourn them collectively, our passion for them would dissipate, someone new would be killed, and again, and again. My work focuses not only on this cycle, but on how it leads to collective desensitization when it comes to the destruction of people of color. Plainly, we can see a person of color die on our phones in the morning and still be right back to our day before the afternoon. I try to make this clear in my poems while capturing the way that it affects me personally, how it changes the way I navigate through the world, and how important it is to continue to call out injustice before we lose the will to fight anymore.” - Raja Belle Freeman

An opening reception for Raja Belle Freeman’s “Consider This Your Trigger Warning” will be held at Akron Soul Train Gallery on Friday, November 10, from 5:00 PM - 7:30 PM. The exhibit is free and open to the public from November 8 - December 16, 2023, in the CapSOUL Gallery. 

About the poet and artist Raja Belle Freeman:

Raja Belle Freeman is a performance poet and visual artist. She realized her passion for writing at Twelve Literary Arts where she became a teaching artist. Now she teaches at Lake Erie Ink, a youth writing space. Raja is a member of the board of directors of South Euclid’s community development corporation One South Euclid. She graduated from Cleveland State University with a BA in Creative Writing and a minor in Black Studies. Freeman has been quoted in several outlets including Scene Magazine, WKYC, The Pittsburgh Post Gazette, and others. Raja Belle Freeman’s poetry can be found on various YouTube channels. 

A Windstorm of Connection and Aversion: Artist Debra DeGregorio presents correlate

Mixed media artist Debra DeGregorio’s exhibit correlate captures the imagination with pieces that expose “the contents of the mind in a windstorm.” Using drawing, collage and ‘micro installations’ of string, paper and pins, she depicts an interior process of connection and aversion. Her elements come together and fall apart on their canvas which relates to the human process of attachment and detachment. 

In correlate, DeGregorio expands the idea of connection and disconnection to include personal shares from the community. Gathered anonymously over months, online and in person, these shares are vulnerable and unique, familiar and universal. The words are embedded within large drawings and installations throughout the gallery.

“Whether conveying a sense of comfort or loneliness, [I am] interested in the common underlying threads of experience; within the works, the shares, the viewer, the artist and oneself.” - Debra DeGregorio

An opening reception for Debra DeGregorio’s correlate will be held at Akron Soul Train Gallery on Friday, November 10, from 5:00 PM - 7:30 PM. The exhibit is free and open to the public November 8 - December 16, 2023 in the Burton D. Morgan Foundation Exhibition Space. 

Correlate is generously sponsored by HFS Wealth Advisors.

About the artist Debra DeGregorio:

Born in Pittsburgh, Debra studied Printmaking and Drawing at Kent State University, Ceramics and Printmaking at the University of Akron, and received an MFA in Printmaking from SUNY in New Paltz, NY. She has shown her art throughout the Midwest and has contributed to multiple juried exhibitions nationally. Debra resides in Cleveland, Ohio and is currently teaching Drawing at Youngstown State University.

A Closing Reception for both Raja Belle Freeman and Debra DeGregorio will be held Friday, December 16, 5:00 PM - 7:30 PM at Akron Soul Train 191 S. Main Street. This same evening Akron Soul Train will announce their incoming 2024 Arists-in-Residence. Look for more details about this exciting event soon. 

For more information about these shows, visit our website and events page at or contact Pita Brooks, Executive Director at