Vote for the People’s Choice Winner of the Art of Diversity Showcase and Competition

Pieces of art against a red backgroundIn “The Disrespected and Silenced Beauty,” artist Halima Morafa uses acrylic paint to show the pain, frustration and beauty of Black women in two different realities. “In both realms, the women are giving their rich wealth of knowledge and love to the world, symbolized by the gold leaving their mouths,” said Morafa. “However, the women face different responses by society in their respective realms.”

Morafa is one of many people who have turned to art as a form of self-expression in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the killing of George Floyd and others at the hands of police.

Register for the Diversity Forum

Join us from July 28-30 for Pitt’s Diversity Forum 2020, Advancing Social Justice: A Call to Action.  Make sure to complete the registration form. Next week, those who register will receive an email with workshop webinar links and additional access information.

With so much going on in the world around us, art can be a thought-provoking, cathartic and therapeutic way to express what we’re thinking, feeling and experiencing.

Ahead of next week’s Diversity Forum 2020 at the University of Pittsburgh, titled Advancing Social Justice: A Call to Action, people from the Pitt community and beyond were asked to submit their creative works of any kind that represent their cultural identity and their response to social justice issues we’re facing today. The more than 180 resulting submissions range from performance art, visual art and written works—including Morafa’s piece highlighting the struggles and beauty of black women.

Submissions to the Art of Diversity Showcase have been shared on Pitt’s social media pages throughout the summer, and the winners will be announced at noon on July 29 during the Diversity Forum’s featured session titled “Turn the World Inside Out: Art as Activism.”

But first, your help is needed to select the winners: take a look at the submissions and vote for your favorites.

A more whimsical, under-the-sea scene is depicted in another submission titled, “Abyss,” by Susan McCarthy. “Mermaids are real in this painting, and coexist in a colorful environment with sea life,” she said.

Isabelle Analo’s “Nigeria’s Youth,” a photograph she submitted to the showcase, depicts her culture—something she said she doesn’t get to experience much living in Pittsburgh. “So, every time I do get the chance to go to Nigeria, I make sure to capture moments that symbolize my identity as a young Igbo woman while also portraying the beauty if the Nigerian Culture,” she said.

A 3-minute spoken word performance submitted by Dhael Monfiston explores the Black struggle, opening with, “We are taught to love our skin because black is beautiful. But, it’s hard to love the skin that brings us so much pain; a pain that’s existed for centuries.” 

The submissions don’t end there. Check out all of the creative works and make sure to cast your votes.