Hostelling International Chicago

Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Mural Competition

2010 Gallery

1st Place Prize Winner

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

Antonia Gurkovska

School of the Art Institute of Chicago, ’11

Dr. King’s speech is my main reference. I represented him in the top panel as a leading example. The book is a symbol of education and knowledge that leads us through the steep path of “enlightenment” and to better understand each other. The United States flag symbolizes not only Dr. King’s country, but also the land with the greatest factor of cultural diversity. It is also an inspiring example in terms of the efforts and striving towards justice and tolerance. The following two panels are to remind us “we must forever continue our stuggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline…” as there is still a long way to go to fully realize Dr. King’s Dream. Peace and tolerance are fostered in everyday – one could say mundane and boring – interactions with fellow human beings. Once the fight for peace is taken to the battlefield it is already too late. The real battlegrounds against racism, discrimination, and xenophobia are the streets, schools, supermarkets, and temples. As history has shown, and as the present continues to painfully remind us, these places are woven to the real battlegounds by an invisible web. It is the fagility of this web that makes our task as friends, neighbors, colleagues and fellow citizens so difficult. Once it is broken, it might take real heroes to mend it. We should remember Dr. King’s cause and continue to make it more and more universal. I believe through such acts another stone is added to the bridge among cultures, civilizations, and religions toward the world tha tis our home.

2nd Place Prize Winner

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

Cordarice Mark Thomas

Malcom X College, ’10

Water is liquid and creates connections. The United States is also a place of connections. The dripping and blotches throughout the painting show those connections and create unity. The image of Dr. King in the foreground, the shackled hands, and the three boys running away together show the progression from slavery to Dr. King to today. The statement is made: I am man, I am equal.

3rd Place Prize Winner

Awarded $50 voucher to Utrecht Art Supply

Alice Jingxuan Hu

School of the Art Institute of Chicago, ’13

Dr. King is in the center and the biggest figure with his hands pointing in the midst of giving a speech. From his hands, water is falling down, alluding to his famous line, “until justice rolls down like water.” From the water splash, people of different skin colors emerge and entwine. Beside them is a white pigeon, symbolic of peace. On the bottom left, there is a panel of Dr. King and another panel of African Americans demonstrating, waving banners that say, “Jobs for all” and “Equal education opportunities.”

Zebadiah Arrington

School of the Art Institute of Chicago, ’13

After traveling Europe alone in the summer of 2008, painting graffiti with artists around the world, I returned to Chicgo. Shortly after, I was arrested while painting graffiti and was charged unjustly with aggravated assault to a police officer. This mural is another example of how graffiti art can send messages of power to people from people. I use the quote, “Until Justice Rolls…” to convey my message that graffiti art will be painted and should be painted until justice rolls down the bureaucratic ladder into the streets of Chicago and the rest of the world.

Rocky Loera

The Illinois Insitute of Art, ’09 

Together we are all here celebrating. Sharing and caring about a man who had a dream. We are happily gathered here to paint beautiful murals that speak a universal language. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a man full of justice and love for us all. He said, “At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love.” Love doesn’t care about what color we are. Do we all continue to forget about loving one another as brothers and sisters? Let us open our hearts to love and remember Martin Luther King Jr.’s words, “until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Mary Catherine Quinn

School of the Art Institute of Chicago, ’11

The multiple, expressionistic color arrangement helps to express the character qualities of humans. The vibrancy of the colors manifests the stonger components of personal character as opposed to the more topical components of humanity, such as skin color.

Jazmin Giron

Columbia College Chicago, ’09 

My mural is a celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, honoring his contributions to the world. The top panel showcases a portrait of Dr. Martin Luther King who transitions into water continued in the second panel. In my mural, water is my symbol for justice and within the sceond panel I have also included the dove next to mother earth, symbolizing world peace. The dove is a reference to Dr. Martin Luther King’s Nobel Peace Prize that he received in 1964. As for the earth, it communicates his reach beyond the American people and highlights his ability to affect the people from other nations, as well. In the bottom panel, the free flowing water transforms into a rapid waterfall, which is a reference to the struggles for social justice that then becomes part of the calm river bed which conveys, in my optimism, that justice will always prevail. Included in the bottom panel is a justice scale placed in the foreground which is also a monument to the fact that we will always celebrate and honor the memory of the great Dr. Martin Luther King. 

Sho Tsunoda

School of the Art Institute of Chicago, ’09

My inspiration is the racism I still see everyday. Chicago still seems segregated to me. There is a lot of violence in “dangerous” neighborhoods. My daily life makes me ask how many homeless people I have ignored today and how many of them were Africa-American. It is our responsibility to realize a completely equal soceity as soon as possible.

I portrayed today’s most obvious remaining problems. Racism is literally skin-deep. If we could see deeper, we realize the red blood runs in all of us. We all feel pain and have human emotions. I believe equality can’t be brought too soon. My response to the theme, “Until Justice Rolls Down Like Waters” is that blood will roll down until the day true equality is realized.

2007 gallery

2008 gallery

2009 gallery

2011 gallery

2012 gallery

Martin Luther King, Jr. Mural Competition home