Catholic school students in the Diocese of Grand Rapids participated in the 2019 Creating on the Margins art contest, a national program by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development which explores poverty's root causes and the Church's response to it.
This year’s Creating on the Margins art contest had the theme of “A Time to Heal Racism.” Participants learned about how racism has contributed to social inequalities; what Catholic social teaching says about prejudice; and how different Catholic groups are working to address racism. Then, they created artwork to share what they’ve learned with others. The contest was open to entries in a variety of formats, like video, painting, music, drama, poetry, and more. Each entry also involved an essay component, with participants writing about responses to racism and how their artwork relates to the theme.
Around the country, entries are submitted at the diocesan level and judged locally, with the top entries being sent to the national contest for a final round of judging. In the Diocese of Grand Rapids, the top three winners all attend Saint Thomas the Apostle Catholic School. They are:
1st place diocesan winner:
Max L. (pictured, left)
Max's contemporary and very creative art piece, "Unraveling Racism," and his answers to the essay questions demonstrated an understanding of the topic that went beyond explaining the evils of racism but showed in his artwork and essay how "small steps can spread across the country and the world." Max's art piece and his essay was sent on to the the national Catholic Campaign for Human Development office for judging in the national contest.
2nd place diocesan winner:
Mary Clare O. (pictured, center)
"America, the Beautiful Collage"
Mary Clare's eye-catching piece, with so many striking images, captures both the beauty of our country's diversity and the pain racism has caused. Her essay of personal history with her own family's struggles with racism is very moving.
3rd place diocesan winner:
Maeve P. (pictured, right)
Maeve's use of hopeful and inspiring quotes and hand-drawings of notable people in our nation's history was creative and demonstrated an understanding of the theme of "A Time to Heal Racism," as did her essay.
The national grand prize winner receives $500, a matching grant to an anti-poverty organization funded by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, and a trip to a national conference.
More information about the national contest is available at www.usccb.org/youthcontest.
Catholic schools in the Diocese of Grand Rapids are an alliance of 31 vibrant learning communities (26 elementary and five high schools) serving more than 6,550 preschool through 12th grade students throughout West Michigan. Our schools inspire young people to grow in Catholic faith and grace, achieve more in school and life, develop creativity and character, and feel welcomed and cherished for their unique gifts. We partner with parents to awaken the whole child to a world of light and life — that grows better and brighter when children reach their potential.