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The story of Ester in the Old Testament of the Bible is a riveting one. It involves the threat of killing off an entire people group, a woman standing up in their defense, and a king relenting to let them live. (If you would like to read about Ester, you can do so here). In a culture and time when women were revered as objects and jewels to reflect the greatness of a man, it was a colossal risk for Ester to stand before her husband and king and ask for him to spare her people, the Jews. In the late 2nd century, the simple act of standing before her king without his request could have had her and her entire family killed in an instant. But he had favor on her, spared the death of her people, and Esther went down in history as a woman of valiant courage and faith in God.

Reading and meditating over this powerful story, University of South Carolina student Anna Westbury dreamed about how she could be a voice for her ‘people;’ women of the 21st century who are being coerced and sold into slavery. The whimsical and eclectic artist decided to combine her talents—photography, art, and design—to create the Esther Project, which is a collection of prints inspired by the Old Testament Biblical story of Esther and creatively expressing the issue of sex trafficking in the 21st century. Anna has decided that all profits from the sales of the 3 X 50 hand-signed prints will benefit Wellspring Living, and will sell for $50 a print or $120 for all three. This edition of prints is limited, and Anna has a goal to raise $5,000 for Wellspring Living through the sales. You can purchase her prints here on her Etsy website.

“I chose this organization because of its focus on restoring women, and the fact that Atlanta is a hotbed for sex trafficking. I want to illustrate that this problem is local and not just in foreign countries.”

-Anna Westbury

Anna Westbury is from Bowman, S.C.  She is a visual communications major in the College of Mass Communications and Information Studies at the University of South Carolina.