A lady and a child looking at a Diversity and Belonging painting

Community collaboration: First-ever ‘Art of Diversity’ highlights artists from Wood, Lucas and Erie counties

K-12 students, community members and BGSU students, faculty and staff all participated in the new showcase

Committed to driving cultural vitality in the region, Bowling Green State University recently held "The Art of Diversity: An Introspective Journey to Belonging," featuring visual and performance art from artists in Wood, Lucas and Erie counties.

A true community event, the first-ever arts showcase offered K-12 students, community members and BGSU students, faculty and staff an opportunity to create reflective works that highlight the meaning of diversity.

Art of Diversity Painting- A person with four thumbs up bordering the left side

Along with community partners, the BGSU Division of Diversity and Belonging, Honors College Learning Center and Fine Arts Center Galleries collaborated to host the five-day virtual and in-person showcase.

"At Bowling Green State University, students are prepared to lead meaningful and productive lives, which includes community involvement," said Jennifer McCary, BGSU chief diversity and belonging officer. "To be part of a connected community means appreciating different perspectives that foster a feeling of belonging. As a public university that values the communities it serves, this showcase engaged the creative talents of local artists and their insightful interpretations on diversity."

Visual arts winners had their works on display in the Wankelman Gallery at the BGSU School of Art. Meanwhile, winning performance arts submissions were made available for viewing on BGSU.edu.

A person dressed in black with a orange baseball cap looking at an Art of Diversity painting

A spotlight on the public good that comes from community collaboration, the innovative arts show served as an opportunity for area students to have their work displayed outside of school halls.

"This was a wonderful new opportunity for our students," said Noreen Overholt, a Bowling Green City Schools art teacher who had 11 of 15 students place in the showcase. "The students were thrilled to see their work framed in a major gallery. Families also enjoyed seeing students' take on the meaning of diversity. It was a great experience overall and it's nice that the University helped put this together."

A family walking as the man is pointing at an Art of Diversity painting

With plans to make "The Art of Diversity" an annual event, McCary said the hope is to unite the community through creative art that drives valuable, continuing conversations around diversity.

"There is so much power in art," McCary said. "It offers a way for people to exchange ideas and engage in important dialogues they might not otherwise have. From ethnicity to religion, 'The Art of Diversity' represented and connected people from all backgrounds in multiple communities. I really look forward to seeing that continue in future showcases."

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Media Contact | Michael Bratton | mbratto@bgsu.edu | 419-372-6349

Updated: 02/11/2022 01:53PM