Four BGSU artists sweep the showcase


Blake Pierce

BGSU Senior Genesis Salone next to “Be the Change,” winning her Best in Show for the 2D category.

Blake Pierce, Reporter

Diversity was on display in the BGSU Fine Arts Center, where community members of all ages and various backgrounds attended the closing ceremony of a week-long art show that allowed local artists the opportunity to express their interpretation of creating a public good.

The Division of Diversity and Belonging and Fine Arts Center Galleries at BGSU hosted the second annual Art of Diversity showcase that featured the skills of K-12 students, members of Wood, Lucas, and Erie Counties, as well as BGSU students, staff and faculty.

Awarded artists were recognized Friday, Jan. 20, inside the Willard Wankelman Gallery in the Fine Arts Center at BGSU,.

“My art stands to represent finding peace with the past,” BGSU Senior Genesis Salone said. “I wanted to let the shapes and vibrance of the colors show for themselves and express positivity with change.”

Salone took home the Best in Show award for the 2D category for her work “Be the Change.” After graduation, she plans to use her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology to work in community development, where she hopes to advocate for positive change through art.

Eight participants in the event were selected by a panel of judges and awarded based on originality, interpretation of the theme (i.e., art for the public good), creative technique, composition, sound and appearance. Winners received the opportunity to participate in an art workshop or experience worth up to $250, sponsored by the Division of Diversity and Belonging.

The youth category artists that received awards were Carly Hemmelgarn of Lucas County and Ilah Reynolds of Erie County. In the adult category BGSU students Blake Rupp, Sean Russell, Genesis Salone and Delaney MeSun Shin each won in their selective categories.

This year’s showcase featured the work of 72 participants, including BGSU Department of Ethnic Studies Assistant Teaching Professor Michelle Stokely, who partook by showcasing Native American culture through bead art entitled “Storm Horses.”

“My art tells the story of tornadoes that comes from the Kiowa,” said Michelle Stokely. “The blue side represents wind, rain and hail whereas the red represents heat, fire and tornadoes.”

This year’s showcase was assigned a theme familiar among BGSU community members, bringing the statement “a public university for public good” to life.

The showcase ran from Saturday, Jan. 14, to Friday, Jan. 20, in the Willard Wankelman Gallery inside the BGSU Fine Art Center. Showcase winners will be featured on the BGSU Art of Diversity website alongside previous winners from the 2022 showcase.

BGSU President Rodney Rogers was excited to see the community engagement and was appreciative of the diversity of the work and among the artists themselves.

“It’s really events like this that demonstrate the many ways in which we can honor and remind each other of the importance of diversity, inclusion and belonging,” said President Rogers.