Hostelling International Chicago

Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Mural Competition

2011 Gallery

1st Place Prize Winner

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

Mindy Ho

School of the Art Institute of Chicago, ’11

Humankind has the wondrous ability to create, shape, and make the world around us, and the things in it. Our world is still imperfect today. There are many evils that still exist in our world today. We, as humans, have the power to overcome these with love, kindness, family, friends, and goodness. I believe those qualities flow through all people just like water. We can use the qualities within ourselves to overcome and wash away any kind of wall that blocks our way.

2nd Place Prize Winner

 2 nights’ accommodation for two people at Hostelling International – Madison

Madison Brotherton

School of the Art Institute of Chicago, ’14

My painting is a very text-based representation of transformation. Through Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., his followers and his contemporaries’ words, balance and justice began to transform a nation. I displayed Martin Luther King’s words largely and boldly because his words were the most powerful thing – I wanted to celebrate them. It was important to MLK to act with peace but not let injustice win, and words did that. I wanted to show the density and poison effect of injustice at the top of the mural with opaque, darker paint and desperate hands. As the quotation is read, down the mural, the hands of injustice transform into changing ribbons and eventurally turn into light, fluid water of justice. The mural is to flow just as words trickle and grow from person to person, and ideas of peace can change, all through the start of one person or group spreading and pouring them, like water. At the bottom I included a light painting of Dr. and Mrs. King celebrating in order to emphasize the importance of love to MLK without centrally representing him or other people as the only subject. This mural is meant to demonstrate change in a simple aesthetic matter but more so change of a people through time, peaceful strife, and growing knowledge and awareness through words and compassion.

3rd Place Prize Winner

Awarded $50 voucher for art supplies

Kang Joo

School of the Art Institute, ’12 

Despite his influence, Martin Luther King, Jr. was always a modest man and always prayed. i put his praying figure in the top panel with an image of the universe. His original ideas started small but as they got bigger, they spred through the universe like the millions of stars in a galaxy. In the first panel, he is still praying for Justice in the universe. In the second and third panels, abstract shapes of dancing and running people surround the earth. These people, born from King’s soul and prayer, are celebrating his ideas. They are making progress with his ideas. The earth is covered with color and many shapes, symbols and lines, which represent extolling justice, which rolls down like water. Remembering Martin Luther King’s spirit, I hope we can make it reach heaven.

Aleida Villegas

Malcolm X College 

The fist represents power, how African Americans are strong and powerful. The tree represents hope. When people see the tree in the mural it might bring to mind when people were being lynched during the time of slavery. That shouldn’t be the only thing that comes to their mind. They should see it as hope.

Cho Eun Sun

School of the Art Institute, ’11 

With the title, “Until Justice Rolls Down Like Waters,” I thought about how Martin Luther King, Jr. influenced us through his civil rights movement for the peace among our various races. We have different colors, nations, and life-styles, but we have rights to get an equal tretment. MLK, Jr. made his move for people who were abused because of their colors. Since the ’60s, lots of things have been changed and gotten better now. But still injustices are occasionally happening in our times. I believe we can keep our justice and also make it better if we remember what MLK, Jr. did for our justice and teach very well about justice to our next generation. Pouring water that shows distorted justice rolls down like waters. MLK, Jr. is protecting our next generation from the injustice of the world’s rule. I defined MLK, Jr. as a symbol of peace and right and equal justice. Under his protection, our next generation can be smiles and united to each other. Our next generation’s hands will rebuild justice the right way, as MLK, Jr. did. So I believe even though justice rolls down like waters, his will, his dream, and his effort would carry over from our generation to our next generation.

Cordarice Mark Thomas

Northeastern University, ’12

When a seed is planted into the soil, the soil begins to give life to the seed. As the seed starts to grow, the water makes way through the soil, and breaks way to the seed. Below ground, above ground, the roots and stem grow apart yet still are attached. The flower grows and it begins to surf and weave its way throughout the wind. As the breeze from the wind picks up its leaves and the petals begin to flow and waves its way in the air. It sings the song of freedom. It flows like water, it moves like air, and it sings the song I am free. Until Justice Rolls Down Like Waters speaks for itself. It symbolizes the beauty within life. From a flower, to a bird, to the unborn child in a mother’s womb, it celebrates freedom.

Mary Catherine Quinn

School of the Art Institute of Chicago, ’12 

The “Until Justice Rolls Down Like Waters” theme is incorporated in the materials of the painting: water is flowing down the painting to incorporate the unity of such a justice throughout the painting. The subtractive portrait of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the top window shows how he is a leader in providing the healing nature of this water, as it flows down the more biological elements of humanity represented by the various colors below him. There is also a partical portrait beside him, to represent the presence of others, who also worked tirelessly for Civil Rights.

Matt Litwin

School of the Art Institute of Chicago, ’11 

The phrase, “Until Justice Rolls Down Like Waters” gave me the idea of being refreshed, and waking up to a new start. Thinking of water as a sign of cleanliness, freedom, growth, and new life, I thought of waking up and rejoicing at the start of a new day as an image for washing away the cruelties and hardships of life for this year’s Martin Luther King mural.

Oscar Olivares

Lane Technical High School, ’11

My mural is my depiction of what I understand of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy, that all humans should be treated as equal. Justice, as an idea, is in fact blind not only to an individual’s race but to facts that should not determine an individual’s liability or freedom. Since the civil rights movement began all kinds of individuals have been taken advantage of and, in my opinion, any kind of justice should be blind in punishing regardless of income or age or occupation. Justice should only take into account the degree to which an individual took advantage of another. The government had taken a non-active approach in protecting its own people and corporations today manipulate us in such degrees that need to look into what we do and see what we could change in ourselves and get off the grid in which we are oppressed. This includes countless industries that back then had still managed to oppress its workers and people. I kept my mural simple but I hope it does not discourage anyone from looking upon it with their ideas and grace. I hope it evokes any feeling of internal reflection and understanding when seeing it.

Yoon ji Lee

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

The mural features four ribbons of color. The ribbons intersect after passing through Dr. King’s famous words, “I have a dream.” At the bottom, the colors lose their separation and flow together.

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