Black History Month Art Show: Behind the Scenes

Camille Mikem and Kathleen Charles are two students who entered their photography into this years art show.

Camille Mikem and Kathleen Charles are two students who entered their photography into this years art show.

Jayla Wilson, Staff Writer

Black History Month, which takes place during February, is when America celebrates the achievements of African Americans from the past and present. This celebration began in 1926, and was called Negro History Week. The Association for the Study of African American Life and History sponsored Negro History Week. They held the celebration during the second week of February to coincide with Abraham Lincoln’s and Frederick Douglass’ birthday. Recognizing the achievements of African Americans evolved over time and by the late 1960’s, the whole month of February was dedicated to the most influential black Americans. Many people have forgotten the purpose of this celebration, but students in Stamford are using their skills to show the community the meaning behind Black History Month.

On February 7, 2016 from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m., students from kindergarten to 12th grade in Stamford had their art work displayed at the Palace Theater. Every piece of work depicted a certain theme that has a connection to Black History month. The 2016 themes were poetic justice (a visual interpretation of poetry by black poets), African American artists during the Harlem Renaissance and WPA era, and make health a habit (promote active lifestyles in the black community). This annual art show is a great way for students to get involved in if they are passionate about expressing their thoughts and emotions through visual arts. Many Stamford High School students participated in the show and are positively represented our community. Two students, Camille Mikem and Kathleen Charles, have entered their photography into the show.

Mikem is a senior at SHS and is excited to express what he can do to the people that attend the art show. The theme that Mikem chose was promoting active lifestyles in the back community. His photo is of an African American student bench-pressing at the gym. He chose to capture this photo and enter it because of the sunlight that reflected off of the subject. He knew that this was the photo he had to submit to express the importance of Black History Month. Another senior at SHS who submitted a digital photo into the art show is Kathleen Charles. She had a classmate shoot a photo of her while she wore tribal designed make-up. She chose to enter her photo into the theme of poetic justice. Charles chose the poem “Beautiful Black Women” by Vernon J. Davis Jr. Charles matched this poem with her photo because she wanted the people who saw her work to realize the beauty in the African American culture. She went on to say, “If I could leave one thing with the people who see my work, it would be for them to see the real beauty and uniqueness of it all.”

Mikem and Charles are only two of the many students in Stamford who entered their pieces into the art show. They dedicated their time and thoughts into making their piece stand out and carry a message to the viewers.