Art for Social Change contest announces winners

Painters, poet, piano player came together to give commentary



Monica Ward plays her piece at the showcase Thursday night.

SAM SCHMITKE, Evergreen reporter

The School of Languages, Cultures and Race gave awards to winning artists for the MLK exhibit Thursday.

Mariah Inman, journalism intern for the department, participated in the exhibit.

“I drew two pictures — I decided to use colors and charcoal,” Inman said. “I wanted to use the color because it was a big part of the civil rights movement. It expresses something, like a passion of the movements.”

Inman worked with Lauren Jasmer, the coordinator of the exhibit, to create the public art show.

Jasmer said this was her first year being in charge of the exhibit. It was also the first one to feature a public showing. In previous years, it was hard to find in a corner of the ballrooms in the CUB, she said.

There were five sections of the exhibit: Remembering MLK and Revitalizing the Dream, Social Justice in Action, Community-Building at WSU, Campus Civic Poet and a piano performance.

“This experience was amazing,” Jasmer said. “I want to be able to expand even more next year and include the Pullman School District and the Pullman community.”

The exhibit had one high school student submission for the poetry section. Junior Melody Gebremedhin submitted a poem: “Peat Moss.”

Jasmer said judges had a hard time choosing winners.

“This was such a special event, and every piece was very impactful,” she said.

The winner for the Remembering MLK section was Monica Ward on the piano. Jasmer said she won because it was an incredible piece, and she wrote the song.

Another winner was Kendra Robinson. Her piece was called “two hundred sixty three.” Jasmer said the piece was colorful and impactful.

Graduate student Ray Acuna-Luna instructed 16 people from one of his classes to color a 4×4 canvas to show how they felt about social injustice. Jasmer said he hand-assembled all of the canvases together.

Jasmer said the English department collaborated on this event.

Poet Veronica Sandoval won a $500 award from the Department of English. Her poem was called “Canto y Grito, Para Dr. Ricardo Sanchez Post Card for an Altar.” She meant for the poem to represent the Chicanx community.

The Fine Arts Department collaborated with this event too, Jasmer said. The department awarded $500 to Theresa Williams for her unusual, distinctive, powerful piece called “Transparent,” Jasmer said.

“People were emotional —the art was very, very moving and powerful,” she said. “My favorite part was just sitting back and watching everyone’s reaction. It was pure excitement and anticipation for the awards.”