Stephon ‘Kiba’ Freeman is a full-time stay-at-home dad and a professional artist located in Stevens Point, WI. He currently specializes in creating with spray paint and paint markers on everything from canvas to exterior walls of varying sizes. He tends to create landscapes, explore space, dabble in abstractions, and self-portraits through his creative practice.
Originally from Chicago, Kiba moved to Stevens Point in pursuit of higher education in 2009. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Art from UW-Stevens Point (UWSP) in 2014 while primarily focusing on relief printing and film photography. These two forms often played into each other. Many of the candid photos that were taken, developed, and printed soon became drawings that then became woodblock carvings or stencils.
Kiba first got interested in spray paint after a summer study abroad trip to Italy in 2013, where he first encountered artists creating at an event in Rome. Fascinated by the process, he eventually started to teach himself, utilizing some shaky YouTube videos, memories from Rome, and a great deal of trial and error. Kiba started to find his stride in 2015-2016 when he started to paint live at local events and established Kiba Freeman Art LLC. He continued to find his place in the local art market while working as a retail store manager until he decided to bet on himself and go full-time as an artist in 2019.
While attending UWSP, Kiba met his wife, Jenna, and they have been inseparable since. The birth of their daughter, Soraiya, in 2018 really helped to shift Kiba’s perspective. He started to create for someone other than himself and it moved him to pursue more large-scale public art. He started trying to depict the fun, whimsical way he felt she saw the world around her. Soraiya helped him relearn the beauty in the simple and appreciating the wonders this world has to offer, right in his backyard. Kiba is curious to see how his now 1 year old son, Kai, influences his future work.
All in all, Kiba feels like he is still in the early part of his creative journey. He is excited to continue to connect with Wisconsin’s creative community and beyond.
An annual Arts-centered panel presented in collaboration between the Division of the Arts and DDEEA that delves into the intersection of the Arts with the annual theme of the Diversity Forum, and with UW Madison’s faculty, staff, students and community members.
This year, our panel of advocates, artists, creatives, designers, and cultural practitioners explores the arts’ profound impact on fostering belonging, essential for flourishing and inclusive communities. We delve into:
1) how the arts embrace differences, celebrate similarities, and cultivate belonging.
2) the intersection of art, diversity, and community practice, highlighting scholar-artists and practitioners.
3) the arts’ powerful role in fostering unity and understanding.
Discover how the arts empower UW Madison’s faculty, staff, students, and community members, elevating cultural activities beyond aesthetics and promoting harmony through diversity. Explore how ‘Artful Connections’ negotiates access versus a sense of belonging.