The Phyllis P. Marshall Center unveiled three multicultural artworks Tuesday. The three pieces will be part of a permanent display that celebrates diversity. This artwork is a good sign of the increasing diversity not only in the nation, but specifically on campus. Such a project is long overdue and should be welcomed and visited by many.
Two students’ artwork was chosen for display in the Marshall Center. Two of the pieces focus on relations between black and white people, while the third focuses mainly on Hispanic culture. Each piece reflects upon a contemporary issue, such as interracial relationships or racial profiling.
Tampa is a diverse city, as is the USF campus itself. People of different races, nationalities and religions attend the university but often are not given a spotlight. Some months, such as February, which celebrates black history, or March, which celebrates women’s history, are times when focus is directed toward minority groups. However, more needs to be done to celebrate the diverse atmosphere on campus than a few intermittent programs.
The Marshall Center’s focus on multicultural art was a great way to allow minorities a voice, as well as illuminate their talents and cultures through attractive artwork. One piece, entitled “Assumption,” focuses on false suppositions made about minorities and is a commentary on racial profiling. The artist said she was inspired by a class called Racism in American Society, in which she learned statistics that revealed the biases found in contemporary American society, often perpetrated due to assumptions held about minorities.
The university should be applauded for choosing works that were not only aesthetic but that contained important societal messages and inspired discussion and contemplation.
Hopefully, the university will continue to seek out such work in an effort to promote a multicultural atmosphere and to show its pride in the many minorities who attend USF.