Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Student Art and Essay Contest

Examples of Sleepy Hollow Middle School artwork depicting the legacy of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Student Art and Essay Exhibition

Sleepy Hollow Middle School art students utilized art as a visual language when they created original pieces that reflected and honored the life of Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

Andrea Harrison’s art classes mirrored the style of African-American collage artist Romare Bearden. The students worked in groups and designed each collage around one of Dr King’s quotes, and then chose digital images that complemented the pictures that they drew and painted.

The artwork is currently on display as part of the New York State Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Student Art and Essay Exhibition in Albany through the end of February.

One group placed a photo of Dr King in a red sky. Floating in water was a heart with white and brown skin-colored hands in the center. Beneath the heart are three gun barrels and a hand placing a rose in one of them. One gun barrel is broken. The young artists pondered the quote: “At the center of nonviolence stands the principle of love.”

“We wanted to show that you can have love,” said sixth-grader Gabriel Spector whose group wanted to send a message. “Adults don’t listen to adults, but they are more inclined to listen to a child.” His classmate Jezrael Panama said, “Obviously, there is racism in the world. People are trying to stop it.”

Another picture shows a staircase on a dark background and Dr King in another portion of the piece, suggesting that even in difficult and dark times, one must choose to do the right thing.

Ava Mendez, who honed valuable art skills transforming words and thoughts into pictures, said, “The project enhances what we know about Dr Martin Luther King Jr. and how we can recognize him.”

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About the Author: Alain Begun