Award-winning designer, entrepreneur, and activist Antionette Carroll founded Creative Reaction Lab to harness the power of young designers. The St. Louis–based organization offers programs and resources that support Black and Latinx youth in using their creative skills to challenge racial and health inequities.

 

In support of Creative Reaction Lab’s work for racial and health equity, their Artwork for Equity program gives young artists and designers an opportunity to showcase their talents and to demonstrate the power of art, creativity, and civic engagement. This annual competition selects young Black and Latinx designers and artists (age 26 and under) to produce original images in the form of posters promoting inclusion, equity, liberation, and justice. The theme for the 2020 campaign is Ancestor’s Vote; the brief asked designers to raise consciousness around historical and contemporary forms of voter suppression impacting Black and Latinx communities in the United States, while also highlighting resistance movements and achievements.

 

Adobe is proud to showcase this year’s finalists, all of whom submitted powerful work to support expanding voting rights and to celebrate the power of community in the fight to dismantle oppressive systems. Here, they share their artworks and describe them in their own words. 

 

You can read more about Carroll and Creative Reaction Lab’s work to promote racial justice in this Changemaker’s profile piece.

Carolina Tapia
New York, New York

Born and raised between the South Bronx and East Harlem, Carolina Tapia is a high school senior at Avenues: The World School, currently exploring different post-secondary educational possibilities. 

 

"Untitled" seeks to pull our attention to the present by urging us to think about a future after us. For some, exactly defining a collective “We” with which to be in solidarity might prove to be an ambitious, perhaps impossible endeavor. Here, “We” is used as an address to remind us that we are nevertheless implicated in a collective to which we are accountable. What will our legacies be? What seeds will we plant?

Destiny Kirumira
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 

 

Destiny Kirumira is a Black visual artist and architecture student.

 

“Don’t Silence Me” attempts to highlight the issue of voter suppression and how it continues to impact Black voters disproportionately. It depicts how politicians, systems, and legislation (represented by the American flag) attempt to suppress or silence minority voters. It captures your gaze in its stark contrast both in color and in the way it depicts the truth.

Erika Valenzuela
Saint Louis, Missouri 

Erika Valenzuela is a third-year interactive design student at Maryville University who aspires to work in the animation field.

 

“¡Vota Aqui!” is a piece that resonates with my mother’s struggles during her first time voting as a U.S citizen. Intimidated by the lack of Spanish information, she didn’t find her first time voting to be how she had imagined it. With this piece, I hope to remind everyone that this country was built by diversity, yet the languages provided when voting are limited.

Temidayo Famakinwa
Washington, D.C.

 

Temidayo Famakinwa is a drawing artist and a senior at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School.

 

“For the Kids” tells a story about the effect voting has for generations of kids to come after us and how our vote impacts their futures.

 

“Potency” emphasizes the power of voting and how voting enables the populace to enact change and to slowly tear down systems that prevent voting from happening.

 

The mailbox ballot shown in “Untitled” is now an essential tool for the populace to cast their vote. Its power has a huge effect on the executive occupying the White House.


Inspired by the last scene of Avengers: Endgame, “We Want … Democracy!” speaks to the power of voting and how it’s integral in our democracy today.

Michelle Mejia Levy
Hyde Park, Massachusetts

Michelle Mejia Levy is an upcoming artist and high school student.

 

“The Wall of Voter Suppression” speaks to the different experiences people have when it comes to voting. Some are on the side of the wall where they don’t have to face many obstacles, while others are on the other side of the wall, struggling to make their voice heard.

Sara Bermudez
South San Francisco, CA

 

Sara Bermudez is a visual artist and creative student at Brown University, with the goal of redefining femininity for those who may feel excluded by its traditional definition.

 

"Labyrinth" represents unequal access to voting and exclusionary laws that exist against marginalized groups. It highlights the illusion that citizenship guarantees an equal opportunity to fully participate in American democracy. The path looks different for various groups of people. Some find privilege in this system, while others are constantly fighting to have their voices heard.

 

“Las Mujeres” symbolizes the weight we carry for generations before our own. This piece captures the beauty and strength held by women, to emphasize their impact in elections.

Tamika Heard
Durham, North Carolina

Tamika Heard is a textile artist who creates content that evokes thought, social awareness, and depth of moral theory.

 

“All Hands On Deck” was created as a remembrance of the struggles our ancestors dealt with in America, struggles that we still deal with today. It is to remind us that we are all one, that we all make this country move, and that we all must let our voices be heard, no matter the obstacles.

 

Mell Sanroman

Grayslake, Illinois  

 

Mell Sanroman is an illustrator and a painter who aspires to motivate, educate, and inspire others with her work.

 

“When Can We All Vote?” tackles voter suppression and ties it back to ancestry by reminding us of our ancestors’ struggles and our generation’s current struggle. Our ancestors nurtured this country before colonizers colonized it, our ancestors raised the future, our ancestors were forced to endure years and years of pain. Their voice mattered then, and their future generation’s voice matters now. If their voice/vote isn’t heard in a democracy, then we’re not all represented and heard.

Jennifer Amador-Gonzalez

Mission, Texas

Jennifer Amador-Gonzalez is a full-time college student at the University of Texas at Austin in the College of Natural Sciences. 

 

“This One Is For You” conveys the power and ability of the next generation to not only make their voices heard but also use their vote as a way to represent the voices of those who were unable to in the past or who are oppressed in the present. Given their efforts and support, the younger generation is influenced and encouraged to be the change they wish to see in their society.

Mailyse DeJesus

Trenton, New Jersey 

 

Mailyse DeJesus is a graphic design and visual artist who over the years has learned to combine her passion for painting and drawing with digital media. 

 

“For Me & Those Before Me” represents the importance of voting. We vote not only for ourselves, but also for our ancestors and our future. Depicted is a young woman voting, and the three women on the left represent her ancestral heritage (Taíno, African, and Spanish). They’re accompanied by significant dates for human rights in their communities (1511: The Taíno Rebellion; 1873: The abolishment of slavery in Puerto Rico; and 1542: Spain passes “The New Laws of the Indies”).

 

 “Anita B. Heard - The Face of Her Ancestors” symbolizes the importance of having proper voter identification, and the lack of information given to many Black and brown communities regarding voting requirements. Her ID photo is not of her; instead, it highlights her ancestors. Anita B. Heard’s name is a play on the phrase “I need to be heard,” and the ID number is a hidden message of what can be accomplished if everyone exercises their right to vote in November.

MRGSNYC

Saint Albans, New York

MRGSNYC is a multimedia artist and educator in New York City. 

 

“Race to Representation” provides a visual presentation of the challenges and obstacles that stand in front of many Americans when trying to vote. Voter suppression has many forms that prevent various Americans from achieving their goals of electing representatives with their interests in mind. 

Doseofrich

Jamaica, New York

 

Doseofrich is an artist and illustrator. 

 

For “Ancestor's wildest dreams (or future to vote)” I drew three different people of different backgrounds and how their lives are affected by voter suppression and problems in their communities. The Black and Latinx people have many problems, but the white kid doesn’t have much in his way. It’s a very perspective-based piece, but also one full of hope with the people above the three characters’ heads. They are the future and will make things better than they used to be.

Alana Walker

Oakland, California

Alana Walker is a visual artist whose current practice is painting and printmaking at Grinnell College. 

 

“Mirrored Interactions” speaks to the history of voter suppression. The noose and mailbox are mechanisms that prevent votes from being cast. The flowing print connects the eras, and the monotone and colored flags highlight the mirrored history of voter suppression.

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