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Briar Cliff’s Women of Color host art show to shed light on multiculturalism

September 26, 2018 | by Liv Mason

Women of Color, a Briar Cliff University student organization, hosted an art exhibit on Thursday, September 13thin the Clausen Art Gallery to showcase the different cultures on campus. The idea for the exhibit came from Women of Color members themselves after seeing their club advisor’s, April Allen-Vo, wedding dress.

“April recently got married and wore a traditional Vietnamese dress,” recalls Nhi Pham, a Senior Biochemistry major and Events Communication Coordinator for the Women of Color.

“Everyone in our club thought it would be a great idea to show Briar Cliff the dress. Pretty soon that simple idea turned into trying to figure out a way to showcase the culture of other people, which is how we got the idea in the first place,” said Pham.

For most students first coming to Briar Cliff, multiculturalism events are not familiar.

“I have never been to a Cultural Art Show before,” said Ikram Omar, a senior Biology major at Briar Cliff and president of the Women of Color Organization.

“My goal for this project was to celebrate the different cultures at Briar Cliff. We named the art show Pieces of Who We are to show that many cultures can all be together and that they truly are part of who we are,” said Omar.

The art exhibit showcased work from not only students on campus but also professors and community pieces as well.

“We had a faculty member submit a mommy and me piece. It was really beautiful that one of our artists thought of the idea of motherhood as part of their culture. Those are the type of relationships, loving relationships, that our group supports and tries to build within Women of Color,” said Omar.

Maisie Hurd, a senior art and psychology major had a piece of her own exhibited in the show.

“Ikram Omar approached me about doing a piece for the WOC exhibition. She sent me pictures of a few women that I could use as references to create the piece. I have loved creating things with my hands since I could pick up a crayon. My parents have always encouraged me to keep up with my art, and it eventually led to me pursuing a degree,” said Hurd who felt challenged by her piece.

The event itself brought in a larger viewing crowd than expected. Visitors were able to meet the artists and interact with them. According to Omar they were able to gain a better understanding and appreciation of the art and the meaning behind it.

Women of Color plans to continue working with this project in the hopes to expand it into something greater and further shed light on Briar Cliff’s diversity through similar events.

Briar Cliff University’s campus organization Women of Color open exhibit entitled Who We Are to showcase campus cultural diversity.

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