The powerful and beautiful art piece which won Google’s contest, (shown on the Google home page today) can be seen below:
Based on the theme, “What makes me…me”, high school student and Artist Akilah Johnson drew this incredible montage that invokes Black Lives Matter imagery. Akilah describes herself as living an Afriocentric lifestyle, and as deeply connected to her roots.
As the Washington Post reports, Akilah intended for the viewer to observe themes of her childhood on the left, while moving across the painting towards more social justice issues on the right. Just as a book is read from left to right, she intended for this piece to be observed in much the same direction. What I find especially fascinating, is that her art teacher was slightly concerned Akilah would not win the contest, because it is so culturally rich, that perhaps people would not be ready for it and would not appreciate it. The wonderful thing is, I think people absolutely are ready for such a culturally rich art piece to be projected onto the mainstream world.
The thought that went into this piece and the layers of meaning make it a clear and obvious choice for winner. I see art pieces like this, and the appreciation of such, as the beauty of the human spirit expanding into our surroundings. I consider the appreciation of this culturally textured and female-rich-art-piece, to signify positive change on the horizon, as people’s hearts and minds expand to appreciate one another for who they uniquely are. Needless to say, I am deeply moved by Akiliah Johnson’s art piece.