Diverse works of art line the walls of the North Entrance Gallery on Amarillo College’s Washington Street Campus.
The gallery in Russell Hall will house the collection through March 23.
Each piece was an entry into the 2014-15 Visual Arts Competition for this year’s Common Reader, Blue Hole Back Home by Joy Jordan-Lake.
Winners of the competition were announced during a reception Feb. 19.
First place went to Emily Prisk for her piece, “Equality;” second place was awarded to Hector Flores for his piece, “Blue Hole and the Klan;” and Lauren Dennis took third place with her piece, “Turtle Peace Warrior”. Each winner took home a cash prize.
The entries paid homage to and drew inspiration from the issues and topics discussed in Jordan-Lake’s novel.
During Prisk’s acceptance speech, she said she got the idea to show equality in different symbolic ways.
Her winning piece was in a set of six.
“It was the strongest of my project because it encompassed the whole idea of equality,” Prisk said.
Flores said chose to take pictures of various things around town that inspired him and put them into a collage as one.
“As you’re reading, it’s such a colorful book and so full of detail, you can’t help but think of all the ideas that come into your head with each chapter you read,” he said. His piece “compartmentalized the images together to reflect the meaning for me and for the book.”
Dennis said she focused on the idea of moral courage and how more of it is needed in the world.
“The image in the central of it is me holding hands with a stranger,” Dennis said. “I think we all feel lonely at times, and it takes that reaching out that can change everything.”
When it came to choosing the first place winner, each juror had an individual process in choosing Prisk’s image.
“I personally looked to see how the images related to the book and did they echo a sentiment that I had felt when I read the book,” said Courtney Milleson, a competition juror and Common Reader chairwoman. “I saw the winning image, and it instantly spoke to me when we got to looking and evaluating the pieces.”
Alex Gregory, a competition juror and Amarillo Museum of Art collections curator, said he finds that the best artwork is unique and shows the idea behind the piece on both a small and large scale.