2015 Layers of Diversity Art Show

2015 Layers of Diversity Art Show

On May 16, a crowd gathered for the 2015 Layers of Diversity Art Show in spirit of good coffee, art and philanthropy at Zanzibar’s Coffee Adventure in Des Moines. The exhibit displayed masterpieces made by our very own YES students, each with their individual interpretation of what diversity meant to them.

Asides from promoting our students and advocating their messages of diversity, the money raised through the art show will go toward our 2015 Annual Fundraiser to raise funds for the Global Grants and Scholarships.

The face of the 2015 Layers of Diversity Art Show was Yasmine’s (Saudi Arabia) artwork. Her piece, which was entitled “One World,” depicted paper dolls, representing people of different backgrounds, holding hands. The artist said “we should be standing together with peace instead of so much racism and hatred within each other’s race or religion.”

Mary, working the room and talking to our guests.

Mary, working the room and talking to our guests.

Sadia (Pakistan) however, opens her artwork to be interpreted freely by her viewers in terms of their own understanding of diversity.

“My painting represent diversity; that the world is full of different people, and they are the same – no one is normal, good or bad.” – Sadia (Pakistan).

Upon completion of their artwork, the students were asked to reflect on how their concept of diversity has or has not changed when they lived here in the United States. Most of our students had very subliminal opinions, like Saba (Yemen) who mentioned that diversity is not what makes us different, but it’s what makes us unique.

“I actually want everyone to feel proud of themselves and [their] cultures.” – Saba (Yemen)

The students with their respective artworks.

From left: Anindita, Oumaima, Jude, Maryam & Soham

From left: Anindita, Oumaima, Jude, Maryam & Soham

The art show was celebrated by some of our artists’ presence, including Anindita (Indonesia), Maryam (Pakistan), Jude (Palestine), Soham (India), Ayisha (Ghana), Saada (Zanzibar) and Oumaima (Tunisia).

The students have come a long way since they first touched down here in America. Through their creativity, they have demonstrated a strong sense of peace and understanding through diversity, and we hope that they continue to practice that belief for years to come.