Mau­rice McDonough se­nior wins statewide art con­test

Work to be dis­played at Lewis Mu­seum of Mary­land African Amer­i­can His­tory and Cul­ture

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU jan­fen­son-comeau@somd­news.com

A Mau­rice McDonough High School se­nior’s art im­plor­ing an end to gun vi­o­lence has been rec­og­nized with top hon­ors by a Balti- more mu­seum of African-Amer­i­can his­tor y and cul­ture.

Chi­nazam Ojukwu, 17, of White Plains, won first place in the Ninth An­nual High School Ju­ried Art Show at the Regi­nald F. Lewis Mu­seum of Mary­land African Amer­i­can His­tory and Cul­ture in Bal­ti­more.

Ev­ery year, the mu­seum holds an art com­pe­ti­tion for Mary­land 10th to 12th grade pub­lic school stu­dents, with a dif­fer­ent theme each

year, said Roni Jol­ley, di­rec­tor of ed­u­ca­tion for the mu­seum.

This year’s theme was “Stop the Vi­o­lence: A Call to Ac­tion.” Stu­dents were asked to cre­ate a poster for gun vi­o­lence preven­tion or a vi­sion of peace.

“We wanted stu­dents, through their own ar- tis­tic vi­sion, to ed­u­cate the com­mu­nity on gun vi­o­lence,” Jol­ley said.

Ojukwu said she learned of the com­peti- tion from her art teacher and de­cided to sub­mit an en­try.

“I was so stuck on what to draw, be­cause the rules said, don’t draw guns,” Ojukwu said.

Ojukwu said she hit on the idea of hav­ing her brother Joseph, a third grader, hold up a sign say­ing “Stop Gun Vi­o­lence,” which she drew with pen­cil and ti­tled “Lis­ten to the Youth.”

Jol­ley said the mu­seum re­ceived more than 50 sub­mis­sions from stu­dents all over Mary- land.

“[Ms.] Ojukwu’s work poignantly ex­presses the im­pact on young peo­ple of gun vi­o­lence and the im­por­tance of putting an end to it,” Jol­ley said in an email.

Ojukwu said she was on va­ca­tion in Nige­ria dur­ing Christ­mas break when she learned she had won the com­pe­ti­tion.

“I was so happy; I was so sur­prised, too,” Ojukwu said.

In ad­di­tion to the $400 first place prize, Ojukwu was in­vited to at­tend the mu­seum’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Break­fast, where her work was dis­played.

Ojukwu’s work, along with more than 25 other sub­mis­sions, will be on dis­play at the mu­seum as part of its Black His­tory Month pro­gram, from Feb. 1 to March 5.

A spe­cial show­ing will be held Feb. 12 at the mu­seum from 2 to 4 p.m.

Ojukwu said she hopes her work can add to the con­ver­sa­tion about gun vi­o­lence.

“I think the cause — stop­ping gun vi­o­lence — is very im­por­tant. The num­bers last year for Bal­ti­more are high, and I think that with art and with talk­ing about it more we can get the mes­sage out to peo­ple,” Ojukwu said.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

“Lis­ten to the Youth” by Chi­nazam Ojukwu, a Mau­rice J. McDonough High School se­nior, won first place in the Regi­nald F. Lewis Mu­seum of Mary­land African Amer­i­can His­tory and Cul­ture’s Ninth An­nual High School Ju­ried Art Show in Bal­ti­more.

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