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The NYCLU is excited to announce the winners of the 2017 Freedom of Expression contest.Each year, both high school and college-aged students submit entries pertaining to a particular social justice topic.Below is a list of the winners: 1st Place: Black Lives Matter by Katrina Soniprasad, Age: 15, Townsend Harris High School2nd Place: The Gay Agenda by Leigh Ann (Cole) Norberg, Age: 17, and Sophia De Martino, Age: 16, Susan E. Click the button below to download the entry form and instructions as a PDF.
I have always been fascinated and drawn to the mural movement and interested in moving from canvas to walls.
When asked to put together some formerly incarcerated artists to execute a wall for the 508 Mural Festival, I thought of none other than iconic Chicano muralist Emanuel Martinez who started his art journey out of the juvenile detention center and went on to study with Mexican muralist Sequiedos and establishbed a prolific body of work that spans out from his hometown of Denver on throughout the nation, including juvenile detention centers with the Emanuel Project. You know it could be looked at as the creator or I see it as a very powerful, positive energy. He’s sticking his hands through the bar and getting his key.
I also was the first place winner in the Benjamin and David Scharps Legal Essay, which is one of the things I am most proud of. Each campus had their own competition where they chose three [winners], which were sent off to SUNY.
I won first place, I have it in front of me, as well, I bring it with me everywhere The question this year was along the lines of what I want to do in my work, which is a First Amendment case, free speech. Dick Spangler,” a very controversial speaker coming to campus.
Their mural sends a message of hope to formerly incarcerated youth that they can turn their lives around and begin anew.
"Most of the themes of my murals have to do with showing some positive imagery related to our people...It’s a project where I am in charge of the mural component and I go in (to work with incarcerated youth) and once we have a wall identified, I sketch up a composition that has to do usually with getting an education, making better choices.I mix the colors and pretty much have the kids paint about 80 percent of it and I do about 20 percent – just touch ups and refinements.I was 15 when he helped me get out of jail and back into school...so he helped me for two years to get me back on the right road and I never went back to jail.and that's where I really discovered my talent and where I pretty much delcared myself an artist and said this is what I'm going to do.I was helped by an individual by the name of Bill Longley from Santa Fe who was a professional artist and started an apprenticeship training program for high-risk youth.it’s a very positive program." Emanuel Martinez "Much of my work as of late has been focused around the growth of the Unite and Conquer art movement which aims to bring artists and communities together.My hopes are that this particular mural brings encouragement to individuals walking back into this community and hope to the families waiting for their loved ones to return home." Eric Christo Martinez.This year’s theme is “The Art of Protest.” Artistic expression can, in itself, be a form of protest and here in New York City we have seen firsthand the importance of art in local demonstrations.We invited students to respond to the theme by submitting a photograph, a protest sign, banner or any original artwork they created as part of a protest.