Project Mosaic Reflections

“I firmly believe that the Harlem Renaissance and Zora Neale Hurston’s contributions affect the present and the future. Focusing on the theme of identity, our group realized that through creativity, African Americans established courage, gained respect, and found a purpose through the arts. It was incredible to see such a distinct connection between the world of art and the world of politics.” –Hannah Barr

“While doing the bibliography and reading the related books, I saw themes that related to my State of Black America course. One of the movements within the Harlem Renaissance was the pursuit of recognition for traditional African-American folk art as legitimate and academic.” –Nick Wejchert

“I was actually glad that we were assigned to the Zora Neale Hurston group. During senior year of high school, I studied a significant amount of her literature, and this exhibition allowed me to re-immerse myself in her work and African-American history. Upon coming to Rollins, I was surprised to find out how close in proximity all this is to me. Eatonville is located less than half an hour away. Hannibal Square, one of the first historically black settlements in the area, is just down the street from Rollins. It is surprising how few people are aware of this.” –Anna Montoya

“Hurston’s novels and other writings were revolutionary at the time for their commentary on what it meant to be black. This message was especially difficult for people to accept coming from a woman. Hurston was also one of the first successful female anthropologists; her work focuses on dialects, customs, and the history of the African-American people. This had a profound impact on the way the public came to understand what life was like for an African American in the 20th century.” –Cory Baden

“Hurston was from Eatonville, Florida, which is ten minutes from where I was born and resided my whole life. I never knew I was in the vicinity of such a historical and important community.” –Kelly Thayer

“I enjoyed arranging the pieces of art and the wall text within the gallery space we created in Google Sketchup. The process brought to fruition all the elements of the exhibition on which we had been working.” –Morgan Gill

“After looking more closely at these art pieces, in comparison with Hurston’s writing, I found that there were many underlying themes to incorporate into the exhibition. The contrast between colorful and monochromatic works worked nicely with Hurston’s writing about how she feels. We each view the world through a black and white lens but are filled with a million different colors inside.” –Graace Loescher