“What Does BLM Mean to You?” Art Contest

Protestors marched through downtown, protesting the recent murders of India Cummings, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and other black people murdered by police. Credit: Tianna Mañón

Protestors marched through downtown, protesting the recent murders of India Cummings, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and other black people murdered by police. Credit: Tianna Mañón

Update: The Memorial Art Gallery to Feature Winning Work in Black History Month Family Day 

Open Mic Rochester and Black Lives Matter at School are seeking submissions from Rochester City School District students, grades seventh and up, for a black lives matter-themed art contest. The contest runs from Jan 2 until Feb 17 – giving students the potential to turn their winning work into a city mural and be hosted in a downtown gallery.

Students must send original artwork answering the question: What Does Black Lives Matter Mean to You? to PO Box 522, Henrietta, NY, 14467 with their full name, grade, school, age, contact information, a 50-word description of their artwork that helps the judging panel understand how it answers the question.

Prizes include:

  • Cash prizes
  • Half hour art lesson with artist Lujar Art
  • Month-long hosting in 540WMain Gallery
  • Feature in the Memorial Art Gallery Black History Family Day
  • Clothing giveaway from PayPeRoute
  • Photo session or audio recording session in RCTV’s TV studio and radio lab + introductory lessons to Photoshop and GarageBand
  • Partnering with artist Shawn Dunwoody to create a city mural

“The Black Lives Matter at School Art Contest is important because it is a way for us to both affirm the essential contributions of Black artists living in our community today and engage young people in a way that allows them to share their vision of what it means for Black Lives to Matter in our society,” said Chris Widmeier, an organizer for Black Lives Matter at School. “Art plays an important role in pushing people to expand their understanding of the world around them and through this contest young people will teach us things we don’t yet know about their experiences with the world.”

[Related] A Look Back at Some of the Rallies and Protests in 2016

FAQ’s: 

  • Who’s judging this contest?
    • We’ve partnered with a number of people: Artists Shawn Dunwoody, Victor “Range” Zarate, Najay Quick and Reenah Golden, Calvin Eaton of 540WMain and Tianna Mañón of Open Mic Rochester.
  • How old do I need to be to participate?
    • Old enough to be in grades 7-12 during the 2016-2017 academic year
  • What art forms are acceptable?
    • Anything you can mail in! All mediums: spray paint, watercolor, mixed. Send in a small sculpture if you’d like just remember that some of the prizes are dependent on more traditional mediums. For instance, a winning sculpture can’t be turned into a city mural, however, the winning student can still help Shawn Dunwoody with creating one.
  • Can I use profanity?
    • Please don’t. Although we cater to artists we don’t believe youth need profanity to express themselves. Uses of the n-word will not automatically eliminate artists but at the discretion of the judging panel
  • When will selections be made?
    • Judges will meet in late February and winners, one from grades 7-9th and another from grades 10th – 12th, will be notified in early March by whatever contact information they provided with their submission. Therefore it’s key to submit reliable and current information.

For more information email Tianna Mañón at tmanon@openmicroc.com

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