Hostelling International Chicago

Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Mural Competition

2009 Gallery

1st Place Prize Winner

Awarded 3 nights’ accommodation at Hostelling International – San Francisco, Downtown and $300 airfare voucher

Jae Eun (Jane) Song

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

I am proposing a design that is based on the image of a waterfall. As the site for the mural painting has vertically arranged windows, I cam up with a composition that utilizes the vertical format. The symbolic imagery of the waterfall conveys the theme for this competition in multiple levels. First, it literally portrays the water that is rolling down from above. Simple black-and-white images inspired me to use the metaphor that underlies these images to convey the justice that is “rolling down.” The water represents the freedom and justice that have been flowing from the history to this very day.

2nd Place Prize Winner

Awarded 2 nights’ accommodation at Hostelling International – Madison and transportation voucher

Britni M. Ashe

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

A literal / simple approach was taken to create this mural. It consists of an image of Martin Luther King, Jr. with his hands clasped in prayer, eyes averted downward towards the hands of several different people. The image illustrates his focus on all races and his hope and faith that there would eventually be justice for all. The hands are representative of different people (races), and are immersed in “Rolling Waters” that fall from the scales of justice, which fully illustrates the quote: “Until justice rolls down like waters.”

3rd Place Prize Winner

Awarded $50 voucher for art supplies

Emily Cross

School of the Art Institute of Chicago 

We all have different backgrounds, life experiences, places of birth and of childhoos – but we are all in the same place, as the same time: the same boat. My three panels were inspired by this idea. I feel that it is relevant to “the now,” and something we can all visualize and make sense of. If we as a collective strive to achieve justice, awareness, success, anything – it is absolutely possible. The top panel depicts Martin Luther King, Jr. himself; a sort of overseer, and a voice for this kernel of wisdom. The clouds fade into a clear sky above a solitary sailboat; the manifestation of the idea that we are together as one, on the same boat (of life, the world, the US). The last panel shows a view of planet Earth surrounded by boats, reiterating again this quote. The ocean acts to unite us all as a planet, physically. Words and ideas such as the ones left behind by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. serve to unite on a deeper and more emotional level. I hope that this has been conveyed in my renditiion of “Until Justices Rolls Down Like Waters.”

Annie Sutula

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

While we have made tremendous and inspirational gains since the time of Dr. Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement, the journey towards equality is still nowhere near complete. One area in particular need of attention is the state of the American educational system and the success rates of minority students. While the sacrifices of African American students like Ruby Bridges and “The Little Rock Nine” in the 1960’s worked to guarantee the right to an equal and desegregated education for all students, forty years later we are still seeing major achievement gaps between white and minority students nationwide. My mural shows a present day African American student rising above the violent scene of Little Rock Central High in the 1960’s to write a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, which has recently been re-appropriated by President Elect Barack Obama. The idea of “the fierce urgency of now,” in this situation stresses how now as much as ever before in history we must continue to work for equality and ensure that all students can reach higher towards their full potential.

Ryan Pfeiffer

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

A mechanical machine dedicated to produce perfect peaceful purple people. Where all injustices are discussed with reason and agreement and never any argument. Conflicts involving differences of tradition and culture no longer exist since this machine has been manufactured and introduced to the world.

Technological advances will bring about mechanical machinery capable of producing “perfect peaceful purple people” whose personalities are without plight. Their moral and value systems are of great similarities. And idyll fanciful melding features, race, language, and psyche. We will all be one of each other, one of the same tongue, where communication is boundless, and differences are rare. To say these are interesting people is something of debate. The non-political, democratic wishes of the masses strips the differences of us all and the magnificent culture that we all once owned then becomes what the majority desires. This loss of tradition and culture is a contemporary “problem” and to say this machine that produces these beings is something of greatness or not is only answerable over time.

Vanessa Miette Hoff

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

This mural is addressing masses, movement, and space. Identity of faces is challenged or made moot by homogeneity, but dynamic in range of location and relational purpose. Hands betray gestures that speak to action or inaction. Hair, simultaneously growing or falling, invokes ideas of time or lifeline, cutting through multiple segments of the picture plane.

Minjung Kim

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

We know one young man dreaming the true wish and justice has roused many people, made them act practically, and changed the world. Just like he firmly said again and again “I have a dream,” I thought about dreaming the goodness for my mural.

When individuals start to dream, act, and influence others on the side of the angels with this much passion we finally see the better world administered with justice. And I think God may see people’s good deeds and help us.

Des’Tina Paige

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

My mural is a timeline of major events in the Civil Rights Movement. Although Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is no longer with us, I believe he is in heaven where he sees his dream living on in others on earth. At the bottom of my mural is a drawing I did of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In each raindrop that is coming down from the sky I have listed and event from the Civil Rights Movement along with a historical image representing that event. The drops are falling down on him as though “justice is still rolling down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream” of raindrops on him and in our world today.

Young-mee Roh

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

I will paint “opening windows.” By describing “the action of opening windows,” I want to express the grand opening of the new world that many human rights activists have started from Martin Luther King, Jr. to Barack Obama.

Since I am going to paint the image of opening windows on real windows, I think it is visually well-matched.

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