TAMPA, FL – A student art exhibit at the Tampa Municipal Office Building in downtown Tampa is about more than just pretty paintings.
The exhibition, “Shine a Light” organized by the Tampa Jewish Community Centers and Federation encouraged students to use art to raise awareness of anti-Semitism and to empower people to oppose hatred of Jewish people through the power of art.
The exhibit comes just a month after anti-Semitic flyers were distributed in three Tampa neighborhoods.
“We were curious to see what these remarkable students would do if we challenged them to help combat anti-Semitism through art,” said Jeffrey Berger, president of the Tampa JCCs & Federation. “As you can see from the inspirational and inspirational artwork on display here, our students rose to the challenge. They did not disappoint. We thank and applaud all of our contest entrants for their thoughtful and creative submissions, and congratulate the winners for their valuable contributions.”
Mayor Jane Castor served as an honorary judge alongside a panel of educators, artists and community volunteers.
“We have to learn the lessons of history,” Castor said. “Even in 2022, synagogues, Jewish cemeteries and Jews have been attacked. Community projects like Shine A Light help raise awareness of the human cost of anti-Semitism.”
In March, students in grades 4-12 were invited to submit two-dimensional artwork, along with a written description of their work, for the “Shine A Light” competition. Artwork included computer graphics, charcoal, pencil, lithography, pastels, oils, acrylics, mixed media and more.
Enrollment was divided into a junior division which included students in grades four through seven and a senior division made up of students in grades eight through twelfth.
The winning pieces were selected based on artistic expression, style, message conveyed by the work, emotional depth represented, originality and creativity.
Ten prizes in each division were awarded. First place won $1,000, second place won $500, and third place won $300. Seven students from each division received honorable mentions, winning a $100 prize.
Click on here to view the artwork and winners.
Visitors can view the exhibit as a tabletop display in the lobby of the Tampa Municipal Office Building, TMOB Lobby, 306 E. Jackson St., through August 8. Then the exhibit will move to Tampa International Airport for the fall.
See related: Hundreds of anti-Semitic flyers delivered to South Tampa homes