Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

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Black History Month Poster Competition Celebrates African Americans and the Arts

Alexander+Vance+took+inspiration+from+Black+artist+Kehinde+Wiley+for+his%0Awinning+poster.
Abigail Cutlip
Alexander Vance took inspiration from Black artist Kehinde Wiley for his winning poster.

In celebration of Black History Month, art students were tasked with creating posters centered on the theme of African Americans and the arts in a contest called The Dr. Carter G. Woodson Lyceum’s Black History Month Poster Competition. While the posters had to be certain dimensions, the competitors were allowed to utilize any medium for the composition.

Sandra Reed, professor and coordinator for this competition, said one of the biggest components in this competition is students had to do research for the posters, pulling inspiration from many different artists and styles. 

“In order to make these posters, students have to research and think about what are they gonna do with their poster, what is the focus of it gonna be and why is it gonna be that,” Reed said. “That kind of intellectual engagement with the national theme is as important as the visual engagement.”

Reed said because of the number of entries this year, a new tier of recognition was added to showcase the talent of students in this competition.

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“I think that everybody has said the quality this year is just off the charts,” he said. “Because of that, we added another tier of recognition. So, we have the winner and two merit recipients, but we’ve added a tier of special mentions because there were just so many that we felt deserve to have attention called to them.”

The winner of the poster contest, Alexander Vance, said the inspiration for his piece was Kehinde Wiley, a Black painter who is known for painting former President Barack Obama for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. 

“I knew that he made large contributions to the artistic scene, and especially Black artists in America,” Vance said. “I think he was the pinnacle artist to pick for me because I’ve been taught his story, and I’ve seen his work in my classes since high school.” 

Vance said this is his second time entering the Black History Month poster competition, with last year’s entry receiving an honorable mention. Prints of his poster were also given to attendants at the exhibit.

The Merit Award winners for the poster contest were Chandreonia Harris and Morgan Napier, and the recipients of the special mentions tier were Sophie Kelly, Seth Hardwick, Makayla Welch, Keifer Mata, Lana Thacker, Austin Ray and Evie Norris.

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