The City College of New York

The series of lectures, conversations, film showings, exhibitions, and courses brings together faculty, students, and staff at CCNY and the New York City community to examine human rights through multiple lenses.

 

Human Rights Matter to Everyone

A CCNY 2015 Art Competition: The Theme of Human Rights

For winning posters see below.

Human rights recognize the inherent value of each person, based on principles of dignity, equality and mutual respect, which are shared across cultures, religions and philosophies. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations on December 10, 1948, sets out the basic rights and freedoms that apply to all people.

The City College of New York’s Human Rights Forum Announces Winners of Art Competition 

The City College of New York’s Human Rights Forum is proud to announce the winners of the 2015 art poster competition on the theme of Human Rights. The annual competition, which began in 2014, has been designed to encourage the students of The City University of New York to engage deeply with issues of human rights by creating a poster addressing this theme. The competition recognizes the traditional role of poster art in expressing powerful social ideas to a broad audience.  

The winning posters were selected from those submitted by students from across CUNY on many aspects of human rights, including armed conflict, children, detention and imprisonment, discrimination, freedom of expression, health and education, international justice, poverty, refugees, migrants and internally displaced persons, sexual orientation and gender identity, and women's rights. The prizes for this year’s winners will be awarded at a ceremony to be held on May 4, 2015 at CCNY’s Center for Worker Education.   

The 2015 prizes of $2,000 each are awarded to: 

Myla D’Avenzo, Queens College

Samuel Joli, Queens College

In addition, the award of Honorable Mention was given to: 

Himani Gupta & Andy Kwan, City College of New York

S. Naushika Thimali Perera, City College of New York  

The 14 finalists’ posters are currently on display in the 2nd Floor Rotunda of CCNY’s North Academic Center until April 30th. They will then be moved to the Center for Worker Education for the awards ceremony where they will remain on view indefinitely.  Posters can also be seen on the Forum’s website (www.humanrightsccny.org) and at events throughout the year. 

“The Human Rights Poster competition provides an opportunity for CUNY students to showcase their artistic talent and convey their commitment to the ideas contained in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” says Dr. Vincent Boudreau, Dean of CCNY’s Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership. “It is essential that the perspective of our students, some of whom may have first-hand knowledge of human rights violations, is valued and provided with an appropriate venue for expression.”   

The Human Rights Forum is extremely grateful for the enthusiastic support from all of our competition entrants, jurors, and faculty and staff from across the CUNY system. We look forward to another successful contest next year.

 


Contest Winners and Notable Entries

Contest Winner: Myla D’Avanzo 
Graphic Design Major
Queens College  

Biography: 
I’m a student at Queens College, CUNY, and am working toward a BS in Graphic Design. I mainly work digitally on Adobe programs and enjoy working with typography and illustration. I also work traditionally, mainly with watercolor and ink. 

Artist’s Statement:
I chose to do my poster on Article 18 from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that everyone has freedom of thought, conscience and religion. I represented different religions and used a limited color palette to convey a sense of unity among humanity. I used the headline “We have the right to believe” because believing or not believing is something everyone should have the freedom to do.



Contest Winner: Samuel Joli 
Graphic Design
Queens College

Biography: 
I'm a Florida native, self-proclaimed artist and would-be writer. I’m currently working on the next great American Novel. 

Artist’s Statement
In theory being a black Haitian gives me a degree of removal from the race relations happening in America, but we're still divided on whether or not racism exists. That's because as a nation we are overly entertained and under informed. The fact is that racism is the huge elephant in the room that we need to finally talk about and fix together but we have to admit that we have a problem first. 



Honorable Mention: Himani Gupta 
Branding and Integrated Communications (BIC) 
The City College of New York

Biography: 
Himani Gupta is a graduate student at the City College of New York majoring in Branding and Integrated Communications. She believes that a blend of powerful words and meaningful illustrations has the potential of making this world a little better, every day. 

Andy Kwan
Branding and Integrated Communications (BIC) 
The City College/CUNY 

Biography: 
Andy Kwan is a graduate student majoring in Branding and Integrated Communications at the City College of New York. He has a good sense of creativity and has a keen interest in graphic design. He also believes that colors and patterns can represent the emotions of the artist.   

Artists’ Statement:
Violence against Women: A Human Rights Violation
She stayed because of fear, she stayed because she thought it was her fault and she stayed because he said it would never happen again. This poster is a reflection of the state of mind of every woman who has fallen prey to domestic abuse. Every time she conceals her wounds and chooses to give her relationship another try, violence wins another battle over human rights.  


Honorable Mention: S. Naushika Thimali Perera 
Branding and Integrated Communications (BIC) 
The City College of New York

Biography: 
Naushika Perera is a passionate illustrator, graphic artist and detail analyst who dedicates100% to create inspirational, innovative and meaningful work through creativity. Her designs are guided by the belief that effective communication, human truths and deep understanding of people’s needs would cultivate a positive change in the world.  

Artist’s Statement:
Everyone has the right to water and sanitation.
Unclean water and poor sanitation are the world's second biggest killer of children. In developing countries, essentially sub-Saharan Africa, nearly 1 out of every 5 deaths of children under the age of 5 is due to water related diseases. The human right to water and sanitation entitles everyone to sufficient, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable rate for personal and domestic use. This work addresses the hope of cleansing civilization's catastrophes with the right to water and sanitation.


Paulina Leyva Hernandez
Political Science and International Studies
The City College of New York

Biography: 
Paulina is a senior at CCNY. She studies international affairs and political science. She hopes to pursue a career in the international relations field with a concentration on human rights and eventually become an international lawyer.  

Artist’s Statement:
This poster represents the diversity of the world, both ethnically and culturally. This illustration portrays that no matter where you come from, equality is a human right, and should be honored as such. This diversity is embodied in the essence of the UDHR (Universal Declaration of Human Rights) and provides the foundation for the human rights international discourse. I aim to show that no matter your race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, nationality – we all count.


Freddy Japa
Graphic Design
Queens College

Biography: 
My name is Freddy Japa. I am 23 years old, and I am currently a Graphic Design student at Queens College. For the past 5 years I have been doing freelance work. Each day I work hard and push myself to learn more and develop my design and illustration skills. 

Artist’s Statement: 
On my Human Rights poster design I address the rights between genders by using the headline “Different Gender Same Rights.” I believe that males and females should have the same rights, and must be treated equally no matter where they live or how they look. To make this message more clear and simple I added a blue circle on the word “different” to represent males and a pink circle on the word “rights” to represent females.


Svetlana Koshurnikova
Digital Design
The City College of New York

Biography: 
I was born in Russia. I studied architecture from 2001 until I came to the USA in 2006. I graduated from Kingsborough Community College with an Associatedegree in Graphic Design and Illustration in 2013. I became a mother in the same year and am taking care of my child.  

Artist’s Statement:
This poster is on the theme of Human Rights, Article 2. When people have equal rights they can express their individualities. There are two, in my opinion, connected symbolic images. The image of zebra carries two colors that are hard to tell which is majority or minority. The second image is a fingerprint. This image stands for the unique appearance of every human being. The rainbow color on this fingerprint underlines people's diversities and their individualities.


Chiehyi Lee 
Graphic Design & Studio Arts
Queens College  

Biography: 
I moved to the United States five years ago from Taiwan. I currently study graphic design and fine arts at Queens College, City University of New York. I love to talk, laugh, and observe people around me. My dream is to illustrate all my ideas visually through painting or design. 

Artist’s Statement: 
We live in a society full of inequality. People are afraid to speak up for themselves when they are a part of the minority. With my poster I am raising people’s attention ofthis issue. The big black circles represent the majority, and the red dot represents those being suppressed, discriminated against, and unfairly treated who are afraid to stand up for themselves. There should not be any inequality in the world. 


Tracy Leung 
Studio Arts  
Queens College

Biography: 
I was born and raised in Hong Kong. I’ve always had a passion in working on art since I was younger. In 2010, I moved to New York and I’m currently a studio-art-major student in Queens College, CUNY. Besides painting, I also like to work on graphic design, illustration and stained glass. 

Artist’s Statement: 
Child-trafficking is one of the biggest problems happening around the world. Yet, this issue does not obtain a lot attention by the society. I have read news about kids being sold to be laborers or sex slaves in underdeveloped areas. This is an inhuman trade –  kids should not be considered as "products". I found that this goes against human rights and would like to express this problem through this competition. 


Qiong Lin 
Graphic Design Major
Queens College  

Biography: 
My name is Qiong Lin. I immigrated to the USA with my family when I was 6 years old. I am currently attending Queens College as a graphic design major. I started drawing and painting when I was younger and it became one of my favorite hobbies. I have a great passion for illustration and graphic design which led me to my major.  

Artist’s Statement:  
It is valid to say that everyone has experienced some kind of isolation in their lives. Due to our individual differences, we often times suffer negatively from the judgments of others. Being an immigrant in this country, I personally encountered difficulties blending in as a child in school. I was viewed as inferior person due to my lack of the language and my ethnicity. Thus, this poster reflects my personal advice to those who are feeling rejected that the key to be accepted is to discard the negativities around and just be ourselves.


Samantha Marshall 
Graphic Design Major
Queens College  

Biography: 
My name is Samantha Marshall. I have always had an interest in design; my artist family had a big role in brewing this passion. I was born in Queens, NY and have moved throughout the state over the years. I am the first female in my family to pursue a college degree and take great pride in that. 

Artist’s Statement:
It is important that design uses its abilities to draw attention to current issues. One issue I feel deserves notice is the violation of female youths’ rights globally. Without insuring that these women are given the ability to decide their future, we are shortchanging ourselves as a society. Design not only works to identify us but to unite us. And as designers I believe it is that time to unite and make a difference.


Maria Habib 
Graphic Design
Queens College

Biography: 
Growing up, I was always interested in the arts. I went from wanting to be an artist, to an interior designer to an architect. It took two years of studying architecture to find out that graphic design was my niche. I believe one can help save the world through design. 

Artist’s Statement: 
This poster portrays article 18, which is about everyone having the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. It intends to show that one shouldn’t have to hide half of who they are, and rather have the courage to freely express themselves. This is a reminder to myself as well; that no matter what religion I practice I shouldn’t be afraid to express my artistic abilities. Thou shall not hide thy true inner self.


Manuel Chang Yu 
Graphic Design
Queens College

Biography: 
My name is Manuel Chang Yu, and I have a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing and I am currently working to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Graphic Design in Queens College. I grew up in 3 very different countries. For this reason, I speak English, Spanish, and Cantonese. 

Artist’s Statement: 
Growing up in three different cultures, I experienced racism when I was a child. I was judged based on my nationality, something I had no control over but was born into. Because of that I accepted it as part of life and did not perceive it as an issue. Unfortunately, people should not suffer this consequence the same way I did.  And that’s why I decided to design my poster to address this issue. 


Haizhen Yuan  
Graphic Design and Studio Arts
Queens College

Biography: 
I came to America in 2010 to better myself. My journey started with me obtaining my associate’s degree in Fine Art at LaGuardia Community College. After that, I transferred to Queens College and double majored in Studio Arts and Graphic Design. 

Artist’s Statement: 
In some countries, men and women are not equal, even in marriage. Through my art piece, I want people to realize that gender equality will directly lead to a lasting marriage. Men and women should have the freedom to marry, but only with full consent. Family is the fundamental element to build society. A happy family will also produce a healthy child and it is part of the makeup of a strong and stable society.