NAACP’s first Cultural Design Contest brings student art to campus

Nearly 200 students cast their votes on Tuesday for the first Cultural Design Contest in the Student Center Atrium.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) hosted the contest from noon to 6 p.m. Students who passed through the Student Center were given two votes. Each of them voted on his or her favorite piece(s), and the three artists with the highest number of votes were awarded cash prizes and a chance to display their art on campus.

The contest started in September when NAACP began encouraging the student body to submit artwork that represented their culture – any culture.

NAACP president and coordinator of the event Latifa Boddy worked the voting table and garnered more than 350 votes. She said she believed the event was a major success.

“It was definitely beneficial [to everyone involved],” said Boddy. “The artists got to showcase their art, which they appreciated, and it was a nice mini-art show for students, by students.”

This year’s winners for first, second and third were Tianzhe He, Maira Ilahi and Venise Keys, respectively.

“Art is something all cultures have in common, but it’s also something that’s different in all cultures,” said Ilahi. “All the works were beautiful and so expressive, so it was great to see them all displayed together.”

Junior psychology major Ashley Ellerson said she was pleasantly surprised by the art.

“I went to the event because I was passing through the Student Center and saw art pieces set up on the table,” said Ellerson. “I love art. It was hard for me to decide who to vote for because I thought it was all good.”

Ellerson also said the NAACP should continue to expand their contest.

“It would›ve been awesome if more people entered the contest and gotten involved because it was a great idea that NAACP came up with,” she said.

Boddy said that she hopes NAACP will continue to host the show in years to come.