November 16, 2018

Student Artists Shine at AUC Arts Festival

ATLANTA (Nov. 16, 2018) – The Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library recently held its inaugural AUC Arts Festival where student artists showcased their creative work.

The theme for this year’s competition was “This Is America.” More than a dozen AUC students submitted original artwork in the competition.

Students were judged on interpretation and clarity of the theme to the viewer, creativity and originality, quality of artistic composition and design and overall impression of the art.

Clark Atlanta University student Angelo Hopson won first place. His painting, George Stinney Jr., Unsung Martyr explores the life and death of Stinney who, at 14 years old, became the youngest person in the U.S. to be executed in modern times. Stinney, an African American, was wrongfully convicted of murdering two young white girls. He was exonerated 70 years after his death.

“What happened to him was so tragic and so devastating, and not many of us know about it,” said Hopson, whose piece combined the cartoon and fine art genres, using acrylic paint and marker on stretched canvas.

“We hear a lot of talk about racial progress and how things are different from how they once were, but anyone who knows their history knows that not much has changed,” Hopson said about the inspiration behind his painting. “There’s still social injustice today; there’s still police brutality. There’s still innocent black boys, innocent black girls, innocent black men, women, minorities who are being terrorized socially, morally and spiritually.”

Hopson, who won an Apple Watch for placing first in AUC Arts Festival, said that he was so overcome with emotion when he created this painting that decided to create a series of 10 paintings about unsung martyrs in American history.  He is honored that his artwork will become part of the AUC Woodruff Library’s collection.

“I feel like I’m doing George and the ancestors a favor by telling his story through the work of my hands,” Hopson added.

Morehouse College student DeAndre Washington won second place with a spoken word performance. Third place was claimed by Spelman College student Maxine J. Ford, who recited a monologue from a play.