Some Alfred University students involved in the Art Force 5 program are celebrating the centennial of the 19th Amendment through art.
The group is traveling the country and stopped in Rochester this past weekend to add another piece to their art installation.
“We're trying to make sure everyone is knowledgeable about the cultures that we've gone through and everything that has happened in the past that has made us so we can be where we are today," said Sha’Ryia Hogue, a senior marketing major at Alfred.
Art Force 5 is looking to make that happen through 19 mosaics in honor of the 19th Amendment. So far, seven have been created at NFL games and community-based art events.
"We’re making art really accessible so people can come together, no talent needed, and you just sit, you paint, and while you're painting, we infuse a little education, we tell you a little bit about Coretta Scott King, we tell you why we're doing it this year on the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment,” said Dan Napolitano, assistant dean of the School of Art and Design at Alfred.
People from the community helped paint parts of the Coretta Scott King mosaic that will be unveiled Monday for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Art Force 5 participants said the events are safe spaces to educate and bring light to women often overlooked.
“These are just icons in the community that have helped women's suffrage rights and making it so that women had the right to vote," Hogue said. "It's the centennial year of women's right to vote, although we know not everyone was given that right, people of color and other people were marginalized, so we're just trying to spread the positivity and make sure everyone knows what message we're trying to portray here."
The next big step for the group is raising $10,000 to take the pop-up art event to the Super Bowl in Miami to create a mosaic of civil rights activist Mary McLeod Bethune.
"She is a huge activist for making, abolishing lynching, she was also one of the first people in FDR’s cabinet of the unofficial Negro Cabinet," Hogue added.
Art Force 5 is still looking for suggestions to name and create the remaining 12 mosaic projects in time to bring them all to Rochester’s Suffragist City Parade in September.