Artwork by a University of Bedfordshire alumnus has been selected to feature in a public New York City exhibition celebrating the efforts of carers and healthcare workers around the world.
The Create Because We Care exhibition is the brainchild from the team behind NYC’s Big Screen Plaza in response to the global #ClapForOurCarers movement. This initiative is designed to pay tribute to frontline workers and carers and give messages of hope for the post-Covid19 future.
Misty Stokes, who studied Art and Design and graduated from Bedfordshire in 2010 spotted a call-out for artwork on Instagram and jumped at the chance to submit a piece. Entitled ‘The Future Is Bright’, her colourful hand-drawn piece – which depicts a message of hope using a wide range of artistic styles and techniques – was one of 60 final works selected for the digital exhibition. It will now be displayed as part of a Big Screen video gallery which will be screened on loop on a billboard right by the Empire State Building.
Misty said: “Having done art for so long, it’s amazing when you get a bit of recognition, especially on an international level like this! For someone from LU3 to be featured in all these places is not just unexpected - it’s wonderful. I didn’t think I could get this far; I think I’m still trying to process having my artwork seen across the world!”
Create Because We Care is the latest high profile exhibition Misty’s artwork is set to feature in, having recently showcased pieces in China and France as part of another Coronavirus art exhibition and in London at the Design Museum and Barts Pathology Museum with pieces relating to the human body and medicine.
“I am a mixed media artist inspired by the patterns of different cultures and street art,” Misty said of her work. “The piece I submitted for the New York exhibition is like a psychedelic, geometric, futuristic piece. I wanted to do something that looks like it’s on another planet, looking forward to a hopeful future. It’s looking forward to a way out of the Covid-19 situation, when we can let the good times roll again.”
Her NYC piece, The Future is Bright, fuses striking colour splashes with black and white patterns and textures, representing the juxtaposition between the current global situation and brighter times ahead.
My time at Beds gave me freedom to experiment with different materials and meet other people with similar ideas, which I hadn’t found before.
As well as continuing to create far-reaching artwork, Misty works as a Student Advisor at the University’s Students’ Union, Beds SU. Her job enables her to support students facing difficult periods and personal challenges which she says is reflected in her artwork: “I think there’s an undercurrent of lived experience and empathy in my art and my work. It’s about being sensitive to the understanding that people have different experiences and challenges to face in their lives."
Misty’s advice to current students is to keep working, knowing you can achieve your goals: “I want students to know that there are always opportunities for people no matter what your background. Don’t feel confined to your postcodes. You don’t need to be well off and rich – you need to work hard and it could take years but you can make your own mark on the world.”
Follow @lutonartschool and visit the Art & Design website for more information:
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