Student Artwork Awarded, Displayed at Lansing Art Gallery

Six College of Arts & Letters students have work that is now featured at the Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center as part of the third annual Michigan Collegiate Art Exhibition. The artwork of two of those students, Kitty Johnson and Azya Moore, was selected as 2019 Award Winners, placing them among the top five entries. 

This year’s Michigan Collegiate Art Exhibition, which runs March 1-27, includes the work of student artists from 12 universities from around the state. The Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center is located one block from the State Capitol at 119 North Washington Square.

Artwork selected for the Michigan Collegiate Art Exhibition is judged by a panel of three jurors with six prizes awarded, which will be presented at the Reception and Awards Ceremony on Friday, March 15, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the gallery.

Kitty Johnson

Johnson, an Apparel and Textile Design senior, took the third-place prize and $150 for her light transfer screen-printed series on cotton, titled 321.

art printed on a screen of a pregnant woman from multiple angles and pink, red, and white flowers all around the bodies
Kitty Johnson's light transfer screen-printed piece, titled "321," which took third place.


“This installation is based on the statistic that black women are three times more likely to die during childbirth than white women and are systematically undertreated for pain, due to their skin color,” Johnson said. “This disparity is represented in multiple ways all throughout the installation in order to raise awareness, conversation, and to promote change.

 “I chose to print specifically on a doctor’s coat, mask, and a hospital divider sheet to shine a spotlight on the negligence of the medical field. The problem lies directly in the hands of medical professionals, yet very little conversation or action is generated towards tackling this unjust issue.” 

Azya Moore

Moore, a Studio Art senior, received the Honorable Mention award and $100 for her photograph, titled Brotherly Love.

close-up of two men's faces, one of whom is looking at the camera and the other is closing his eyes
Azya Moore's "Brotherly Love" photograph, which received the Honorable Mention award.


"I am very honored to receive an Honorable Mention award for a photo that displays two heterosexual Black men embracing and loving one another without it being perceived as a ‘feminine’ or emasculating act,” Moore said. “I believe that for generations we have taught men that it is not okay to be affectionate with one another and it is my hope that through this photo some of the stigmas that have been created around what it means to be a man, specifically a black man, will begin to be shaped differently and in a way that is more than what society has shaped it to be." 

Moore’s mixed media oil painting, titled DSM-5, also was selected to be part of the Michigan Collegiate Art Exhibition. This painting explores her own personal struggles with depression and anxiety and was part of ArtPrize 2018.

Other MSU Artists

Four other MSU students have artwork in the Michigan Collegiate Art Exhibition, including:

  • Hector Acuna, MFA Studio Art – Heavy Shit, oil on canvas, and So Awful Misty, oil and tape on paper
  • Lauren Brady, MFA Studio Art – From the Hotel Room, oil, pastel, and charcoal on paper
  • Jenna Diclemente, Arts and Humanities senior – What Are You Afraid Of?, film photography
  • Emily Somoskey, MFA Studio Art – What Needs to Be, latex, oil, and collage on canvas

For more information on all the pieces in the Michigan Collegiate Art Exhibition, see the 2019 Collegiate Catalog.

The Michigan Collegiate Art Exhibition is supported in part by MSU’s College of Arts & Letters, College of Communication Arts and Sciences, College of Engineering, and the Residential College of Arts and Humanities. Additional support is provided by Lansing Community College, Mariel Foundation, Jack and Sue Davis, and Rich Sneary.