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NYS's 2022 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Fine Arts and Essay Exhibition draws record-breaking number of submissions


Fri, Jan 14th 2022 04:20 pm

2,700 pieces of student art submitted from more than 90 schools statewide

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) and Office of General Services (OGS) on Friday announced a record-breaking number of students participated in the 2022 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Fine Arts and Essay Exhibition. King’s commitment to nonviolent advocacy served as the inspiration for 2,700 students from more than 90 public and private schools across the state to submit their creations. These submissions will mark the first time more than 1,000 pieces of student artwork will be on display.

 Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young Jr. said, “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was the epitome of moral leadership. He used knowledge, self-confidence, passion, determination and courage as weapons against injustice throughout his life. The record-breaking number of powerful, thoughtful submissions for this year’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Fine Arts and Essay Exhibition are a testament to the continuing impact of Dr. King’s words and actions on generations of New York students.”

State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa said, “Dr. King forged an enduring legacy for the world to learn from and emulate. His vision of a better, more just world, is captured and reflected beautifully in the artwork and essays that are included in this exhibit. New York’s students have created a moving celebration of Dr. King’s life and legacy – and I am so grateful for their participation. I would also like to thank our partners at the Office of General Services for once again partnering with us on this project that means so much to so many people.”

Acting OGS Commissioner Jeanette Moy said, “Dr. King and the American Civil Rights Movement have inspired artists to create content on the continuing struggle for fairness and equality for all. Through the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Fine Arts and Essay Exhibition, we hope to pass on this important tradition, and encourage New York state’s young creatives to express themselves through their art.”

Each year, NYSED invites schools to honor King’s memory by submitting original student artworks and essays that reflect King’s teaching. The student art and essays illustrate King’s “Six Principles and Steps of Nonviolence,” while also celebrating his birthday. 

The entire exhibit is posted online at www.empirestateplaza.ny.gov/nyking.

To honor King’s legacy and celebrate Black History Month in February, several pieces of student art will also be exhibited by OGS on the Empire State Plaza in Albany starting Jan. 17 and throughout Black History Month in February. 

Among the highlights of this year’s exhibit are two group projects:

•Seventy sixth-grade students from the Springs Union Free School District in East Hampton, Long Island, created a video slideshow titled “We Lead Nonviolent Lives” that showcases artwork and students reading their essays.

•A large mural titled “MLK 6 Points of Nonviolence Collaborate Mural” was created by 725 K-5 students enrolled at Public School 8 Isaac Varian in the Bronx using paper, markers, pens, pencils, crayons, charcoal and glue.

The public is also invited to watch the broadcast of the “New York State Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Observance.” This visually inspiring one-hour tribute to King, produced by the Office of General Services, showcases New Yorkers and organizations that embody the principles of one of America’s most recognized and effective leaders. 

Also, several service-related programs are held each year by New York to fulfill King’s vision of community. These include the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Statewide Food Drive, which runs through Feb. 11, and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Statewide Book Drive, held Feb. 21 to April 22.

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