Little dried dough statues carried signs with such slogans as “We aren’t perfect, but we have feelings,” for the Peace & Social Justice Centers Annual Peace Essay Art Challenge Experience (P.E.A.C.E) contest, last Saturday. The event was held at the Ulrich Museum of Art, at Wichita State University. This year’s topic was “Express yourself: On Bullying.”There was one 3-dimensional art form had several dough figures, all weary cloth clothes and carrying signs, with such slogans as “Put an end to Bullying,” “Stop Bullying,” and the slogan listed above.Each year the Peace & Social Justice Center puts on a contest and show that takes art and essays from students in local schools. The Peace & Social Justice Center doesn’t focus on awarding the best. The center wants to open students up without competition. The WSU School of Art and Design provided free T-shirts and silk screen designs to the students who took part in the event. The WSU School called the event TEES for TEENS.“I’m impressed with high school artwork,” said Charlie King, an organizer for the P.E.A.C.E contest. “The older student’s art work is revealing. I personally hope it helps them to express themselves.”There was a wide variation to the art styles that students chose for there posters. There are cartoon pictures. One had a cartoon looking elephant. Some of them had cartoonist balloons. One of those had a person listening to the things that others might say to hurt them, such as “Worthless,” “Nerd,” Ugly,” “Cross.”There was one poster with a girl on it who was being taunted for the way she looks and balloons telling her “You look like a boy,” “Are you gay?” and “Why don’t you dress like a girl?”Some were realistic. There was a realistic drawing of a small child crying. There was a surrealistic drawing with a big face raining fire over a small drawing of a person.There were some posters using symbols, such as a peace sign. One had a stop bullying sign that looked like a street stop sign.“Are your friends bullies”? “How to prevent bullying”.The essays were laid out on a display. They had titles such as “Are your friends bullies”? “How to prevent bullying.”This event was well attended. Many teachers had cooperated in this event. There were more than a hundred entries and about that many students came to take part in the T-shirt give-away.
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