Student ‘Voices’ Represent Heritage and Social Reflection in Completed Maverick Inclusion Painting

by GABBIE KEERAN, CSU Public Relations Intern

Maria Rios de Santiago, educational entertainment chair with the Student Events Team, spearheaded the effort that commissioned an original artwork by Justin Ek that was completed with the help fo Minnesota State Mankato students. Students helped paint and added social commentary found throughout the completed ‘Voices’ artpiece that was placed on display in the Centennial Student Union throughout Finals Week.

The Student Events Team partnered with the Office of Inclusion and Diversity to invite students who helped finish a Maverick Inclusion Painting by sharing their own “voices.”

The artist, Justin Ek, created the piece to fulfill the Student Events Team goal for inclusivity particularly to those under-represented students. The piece entitled Voices encouraged and enabled students to visually engage in finishing the painting with diverse voices and opinions.

As voices can be lost during students journeys, Ek, artist of Bellissimo Painting, focuses on celebrating, lifting, and capturing the voices of students at Minnesota State University, Mankato…as well as his own.

“I included symbols and colors that act as the bridge between the individuals of our vastly diverse communities,” Ek said. “The inspiration for those symbols and colors speak closely to my diverse roots as an indigenous person with a history of Hispanic heritage.”

To find out more information visit, VOICES: a Maverick Inclusion Painting | Minnesota State University, Mankato.

View the KEYC video news report.


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