Art Activism Chalk Art: George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, & Aiyana Stanley-Jones Memorial

by CoSA & CHS students Viktoria Adalsteinsdottir, Julia Ambros, Ava Polczynski, Sasha Krasnitskaya, Emma Pots-Noyola, and Theo Swanson-Brownell

Photos provided by community contributor Karrie Jackson.

“The idea to do the George Floyd Chalk Tribute flourished from our wonderful art teachers giving us the opportunity to express ourselves throughout our school years.

We do these chalk walks every couple of years at our school, and  my classmates and I participated in 2019. I think we could all agree it was just good energy throughout the entire thing! It’s also very liberating to showcase art in this fashion. 

I personally love street art and so I was so excited when my friend asked me to join her and make some art by the George Floyd Memorial. Since I had just participated in the chalk walk, I was fresh with ideas and asked some of my other extremely talented friends to help out . Many of the artists including myself are apart of the CoSA (Coronado School of the Arts) visual arts program. The outcome was beautiful. 

It can be hard for some to embrace their differences in high school, I have first hand experienced this feeling. I think right now though people need to accept everyone and be open to showing their differences. 

We need to set an example for the future generations that the ignorance and prejudice toward differences ends now. 

Being in CoSA I’ve been thrown in a mix of a diverse group and I’m so thankful for it . Being able to come into a room full of a variety of styles and people from all parts of San Diego and farther really allows you to express yourself without judgment. We got together, each with a sketch or an idea and just expressed ourselves with chalk . Each one of us wanted to give Coronado something to look at because too many of its residents are keeping their eyes closed to the rest of the world. I think art is able to capture peoples’ minds in such a deep way because it’s all interpretation. The goal in this was to make people not only interpret the art but us making the art . We wanted everyone to see that young people can come together and get their voices heard . Whether or not people enjoyed the art, they saw it . We wanted more than anything for people to simply see that we want change . And we can’t do that until the people that are not directly affected give it the same attention as those that are. We wanted them to address the privilege their community has. The entire country is uniting to fight years of injustice and systematic oppression Coronado must stand with us. 

I created the George Floyd tribute. The biggest thing I wanted people to see was that he was a human. I decided to go a more abstract route with the colors because although this is a problem with race, this is a human rights issue. I wanted George Floyd to be recognized as a man. The use of the American colors for his shirt and the writing was to show that George Floyd should have been protected by the U.S. I wanted to remind people that he deserved the same rights to live as every citizen of America, regardless of skin color. Skin color shouldn’t define or profile anyone, we are all one human race. 

It’s so devastating to see how much people hate for the color of someone’s skin . My mother lived in Iceland her whole life and my dad grew up in New York! They came from different parts of the world and built a beautiful family that loves not by the color of someone’s skin but the qualities that make up that person. 

My art style for the past years has involved a variety of colors that stray from the traditional skin spectrum, especially for my figure art. I’d rather use color to show emotion, enhance lighting and in general compliment aspects of the whole art piece. All colors are beautiful, I wish the entire world could see it the same. I’m so proud of the people that contributed to this tribute. We wish more came out but we will continue to spread art throughout San Diego and hopefully extract more supporters.”

Viktoria Adalsteinsdottir

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