Wednesday, February 29, 2012

MLK Mural Series, Part 5

This is the fifth part in a series in which we are highlighting entries from our 6th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Mural Competition. Student artists in the Chicago area were selected for the Competition based on their current portfolios. Congratulations to all our 2012 Competition participants! Come take a look and maybe even get inspired to enter the competition yourself next year!

Elcin Marasli
School of the Art Institute of Chicago, '13 
"My project consists of multiple hand drawings in various expressive states, symbolizing the sufferings, hope and victory of a "handful of society" or "hands of the people" coming together for the progress and maintenance of justice. The overall mural is a symbolic, decorative and abstract form revealing a homogenous single drop of water at large, overlaid with drawings of hands in black, uniform stroke. When the morning sun directly hits the window, the animated brush strokes allow for a playful reflection of changing tones of the color blue. The labor-intensive layering of brush strokes also indicates the historical progression in the fight for justice as a timely endeavor.
The composition is divided into three sections, as is the actual phyical window surface. The bottom part includes a large-scale drawing of Martin Luther King's hands connected in wishful position (note King's ring to identify). King's person endeavor in fighting for justice and equality is depicted in the expressivity of his hand gesture as a symbolic outreach from the personal to the public, where he lays ground for the fight for justice with his own hands, and opens it up for people to enliven his dream. The second (middle) section of the mural includes smaller-scale hands in giving and taking positions, representing society at large opening up to King's ideas and taking them in. Finally, the third and top part of the mural consists of small-scale hands in positions of victory and strength, in this case closed fists, portraying justice at it's victorious state.
In changing scale from small at the top to larger at the bottom, the image imitates a flowing motion of water, or a big drop / splash of water from the source to the basin. There are no power relations involved in the flow of justice. King is not only a giver but also a receiver, and the public at large is equally a source of opinions constantly flowing, in and out of King's foundational basis, enlivening and transforming it. This is also to suggest that that "justice case roll like water" only in an environment of mutual exchange of ideas and understanding between King and sociey at large, with an equal strive for equal rights to each member of the society, a homogenous and uniform coexistence."
Ji Ha Park
School of the Art Institute of Chicago

"We are basically different. We have different skin color, gender, ethnicity, age and so on. We also live in different situations in this world. However, we are all the same human beings. There is no question. However, in reality we still discriminate against the visible differences. Nevertheless, I believe that it can be changed little by little. My message of this painting is "hope." We should not forget the message by Dr. King, all beings are equal, the same."

*The murals are on display through March at Hostelling International Chicago, 24 East Congress Parkway. The exhibition is free and open to the public for viewing between 9am and 9pm, seven days a week. Check out our website for more information and the complete gallery! Don't forget to check out part 1, part 2part 3, and part 4 of the series, and have a lovely Leap Day!

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