Hostelling International Chicago

Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Mural Competition

2007 Gallery

1st Place Prize Winner

Awarded $250 Southwest Airlines voucher and 3 nights’ accommodation at one of three HI-San Francisco hostels


Shaz Taylor, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, ’07 and Max Sansing, American Academy of the Arts (2 years)

Our inspiration is how life goes on today by which on is born with privilege. How does this privilege vary from person to person, culture, society, and nationality? How far one may succeed in life and how far will they allow you to go before one hits the glass ceiling, is what we portray. What does it take to get there? Dr. King dreamt of all men being equal, but how relevant and truthful is that today?

A Stone of Hope

Jiwon Lee, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, ’07

I took my painting’s inspiration from one of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speeches: “With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.” A little girl who embraces her parent it the symbol of the hope of an especially ideal America’s future with no racism. That is why I do not paint the girl and the parent’s skin. Instead, I let the outside view show through the glass and fill their forms. I am sure that people’s faith and effort could make a better world, and I hope that it will be beautiful and peaceful like the blue sky and white clouds in my painting.


Alex Shumlyanskiy, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, ’07

The main idea of my painting is to illustrate the older generation of rights activist and the new generation of my contemporaries who intentionally or unintentionally bring white and black America together. The flag in the middle makes a point that each of the persons is American and that is what unites us in the first place. Faces of contemporary figures are painting in a colorful way to show that the world is not black and white, but a colorful combination of many colors.

KONODAMA Universe / Parasite on the Assumption of the Virgin

Jung ji Lee, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, ’06

I start with a reference to the painting “Assumption of the Virgin,” displayed at the Art Institute of Chicago. This is a connection to the historical context and spirituality of mural works. It also explains the relationship between this work and Chicago, a target of Martin Luther King, Jr. for his movement. I use the character KONODAMAZOU – my self-portrait as a Japanese-Korean, a minority. The character attracts the viewer beyond age difference and language barrier. KONODAMAZOU is able to transcend any visual space, design, picture, etc. Multiplication of the oval shape creates flat chaos that goes back and forth between confusion and calmness, dismantling and integration, abstraction and representation.


Reed W. Kirst, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, ’09

The elements that inspire me can come from a variety of sources. In this instance the inspiration comes from the “dream”of Martin Luther King, Jr. A forceful orator speaking thunderous words. “Justice rolls down like waters.” Lady Justice is pictured with representations of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. At the top the dream is realized with all of us together in peace and harmony.

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