Vance Co. High School Students Display Their Talent in ‘Art of Protest’ Event

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-Press Release, Vance County Schools

Twelve students at Vance County High School shared their artwork and their important voices in the school’s “Art of Protest” event held in the school’s Music Room during the evening of March 5, 2019.

The “Art of Protest” event was a joint effort between the English Department and Art Department at the school to enable the very talented students to show through their artwork their focus on societal issues about which they share a passion.

Marsha Harvey of the English Department, and Amy Simpson of the Art Department, coordinated plans for the event. They wanted the students to speak through their art and be able to share their opinions about issues they feel are important and need special attention.

Students who participated in the “Art of Protest” and their work included:

  • Jose Gonzalez, “Sweet Relief” painting, focusing on the lack of awareness for mental health issues
  • DeAndre Johnson, “The Color of Piece” painting, focusing on racism issues
  • Madonna Baselios, “(I’m)migrant” painting, focusing on American politics and the treatment of immigrants
  • Christian Green, “Silent Revolt” painting, focusing on the dictatorship in government
  • Samej Brown, “Not My Hero” charcoal drawing, focusing on youth brainwashing
  • Qe’Shaun Hargrove, “Relic” painting, focusing on the inherited legacy of African Americans from their white forefathers
  • Anterrahn Harris, “Of Body & Mind” painting, focusing on the lack of recognition of African Americans in the arts
  • Stephanie Salazar, “Free Yourself” painting, focusing on society’s treatment of the LGBT community
  • Edgar Trejo, “Rise” painting, focusing on the courage of immigrants in the current political climate
  • Susanna Hernandez, “Illusion v Reality” painting and art rendering, focusing on homelessness for military veterans
  • Jordan Lewis, “Voices” painting, focusing on lack of freedom of speech in America
  • Kintochia Barnes, “Silent Traffic” painting, focusing on the problem of sex trafficking

All of the students’ artworks were excellent. Members of the audience, who included educators, parents and community members, were able to view each piece of art and speak with the student artists about their message conveyed through their art. A silent auction for the artwork also was held and several art pieces received purchase bids.

Miracle Chin, a senior at Vance County High School, also recited a powerful poem that stressed a person’s true beauty comes from within and should not be determined by the person’s outward appearance.

Dr. Ellen McLarney, a professor at Duke University, presented the featured lecture at the event. She showed several pieces of national and international photos and paintings, both historical and present day, that are widely acclaimed for their depiction of people concerning key societal issues today throughout the world. She noted that art throughout time has always been an expression of the artist’s opinions on all types of issues. She encouraged the students to continue to pursue their passion for art and to continue to voice their opinions through their work.

Anterrahn Harris talks with an “Art of Protest” attendee about his painting, “Of Body & Mind,” and how it depicts the lack of recognition of African Americans in the arts. (Photo courtesy VCS)

“Art of Protest” work done by, from left, Madonna Baselios, Semaj Brown and DeAndre Johnson are displayed for the silent auction. (Photo courtesy VCS)

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