Learning Services hosts student art contest to showcase diversity and inclusion

by | Oct 16, 2023 | Arts & Life

Learning Services is hosting an art contest open for all NAIT students. The diversity and inclusion themed contest started in September and has been extended to December 8. Kyle Kirzinger, a Learning Strategist at NAIT’s Learning Services, said it’s a way to let students know about Learning Services’ new space at E105, but also to share their art with others.

“We wanted a way to find a way to include the voices of students with disabilities into this space that we’re creating as part of learning services, and we wanted to allow for students to use any medium that they chose as a way to basically share their perspectives on art with others,” said Kirzinger.

The contest asks students to create art that represents their idea of diversity and inclusion. Although Learning Services wants to highlight the voices of NAIT students with disabilities, the contest is open to all students.

“I think diversity and inclusion is something [that I feel like is] all around us and it’s just something that we need to be more aware of,” said Kirzinger. He wants to make the Learning Services office feel visually appealing and something that students are a part of, but the main reason behind the contest is showcasing the different ways NAIT students see diversity.

“Hopefully with [NAIT] being a trades school is that people are able to essentially think outside the box and not just what is deemed the usual art, but to use their creative sense and come up with something new,” said Kirzinger.

The art can be submitted through “any medium possible,” and Kirzinger encouraged “anyone who considers themselves an artist to submit whatever they feel diversity and inclusion means to them.”

“Don’t have any preconceived notions of what good art is,” he said. “I want artists of all ranges and artists that are diverse, and I want basically everyone to submit anything that they feel is a good representation of diversion and inclusivity, whatever that means to each individual.”

Kirzinger suggested students come to E105 and look at the wall where the art will be displayed to get an idea of how their art will look in the space. The art must be within the ranges of 8” x 10” to 18” x 24” and can be handmade or drawn digitally, as long as it is not AI generated.

In the future, Learning Services is hoping to do more contests like this to encourage NAIT students’ creative side, but Kirzinger said he’s hoping to build off this contest’s theme.

“[Art] can be a break from not necessarily studying from their classes, but just kind of a way to let their creativity flow … and to generate more of those conversations about diversity and inclusion and how we can incorporate them more into our perspective.”

Along with having their art displayed in E105 for a year, the winner will also receive a sweatshirt and a One gift card to use on campus. For more information about the Learning Services Art Contest, visit ookslife.ca/event/237306 or stop by the Learning Services office at E105.

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