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OVMS Art Students To Celebrate African American Artists


  As part of celebrations centering around Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Orchard Valley Middle School sixth and seventh-grade students in Veronica Akhtar’s art class will be creating posters highlighting contemporary African American artists, as inspired by The Lumpkin-Boccuzzi Family Collection and featured in the September 2020 book, Young, Gifted and Black, A New Generation of Artists.


“Many of the artists to be featured on our poster designs were born in the 1980s and 1990s,” Akhtar said.  “Students are learning to use their school- issued laptops to create digital posters, each highlighting one artist.  Ultimately, our class plans to have a virtual slideshow in which we view all posters, talk about these artists and honor their contributions.


“I would like my students to understand that art SPEAKS,” she said. “An artist’s work does not need to be blatantly controversial to leave a lasting footprint on the country. In these turbulent times, I would like to honor Dr. King, Jr. by spreading the message that we are all brothers and sisters, fellow Americans of all races, religions, and political backgrounds. Art is universal.”


The project will be completed by the end of January.


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Pictured: The art of Chiffon Thomas, A Mother Who Had No Mother (2018, Embroidery floss, acrylic paint, and canvas on window screen, 57x44.5 in.) is among art by contemporary African American artists that OVMS art students are studying and highlighting in Veronica Ahktar’s class.