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SDI reception for Black Souls Welcome kicks-off the two week art installation

Student Diversity & Inclusion hosted the Black Souls Welcome opening reception, kicking off the two-week-long student art installation, in honor of Black History Month. 

The reception brought together a group of artists, art enthusiasts and community members to witness the unveiling of the showcase. Student performers took the stage fusing music, dance, spoken word and visual arts together. 

“We are showing up for each other, especially during Black History Month,” said Kyli Hawks, a sophomore photography major, who attended the reception. “To see myself represented in all of these works was truly amazing.”

The event was held in the Student Center, on Tuesday, Feb. 13, and highlighted performances and introductions of the 13 visual artists behind the art installation. The artists were given the opportunity to share their inspiration and creative process, giving the attendees a deeper understanding of the messages in their works.

Mars Noel, a senior film and television major, said places like Black Souls Welcome provide an opportunity for her and other Black students to connect with each other and showcase their work which, she said, is not easy to do.

“My specific piece is very focused on how our Blackness is always a footnote in our work,” Noel said. “It’s a commentary on how society always wants to tokenize us instead of just letting us be humans, letting us be creatives.”

Junior audio arts and acoustics major Breanna Cooper, who performed her own poetry and a song cover, hopes more people of color would be able to express themselves freely. 

A lot of my poetry revolves around the Black community, specifically, whether it’s Black-on-Black crime, police brutality, I talk a lot about different topics,” she said. “I’m so glad that I finally found a place where I fit in and glad I’m meeting so many awesome people who encouraged me to do what I just did.”

The art installation has been curated to represent the rich tapestry of Black history and culture. The organizers hope that people will come and appreciate the artistic contributions of Black students in this celebration. 

SDI Director, Charee Mosby-Holloway, said Black Souls Welcome was a space created because of stories she hears from students of color who sometimes feel lost or that their stories, experiences, art and creative practice don’t get highlighted.

“We just want to create a space where those narratives are centralized, where they’re given the space and time to take center stage,” she said. “I think oftentimes, when it comes to Black folks, it’s always our trauma that’s on display. It’s always our pain that’s on display. It’s never our joy and our resilience and the beauty of our community and that’s what tonight is about.”

The showcase is available for viewing through Feb. 23. on the fifth floor of the Student Center.


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About the Contributors
Kate Julianne Larroder
klarroder@columbiachronicle.com   Kate Julianne Larroder is a junior communications major, minoring in journalism. She joined the Chronicle as a reporter in January 2024.   Hometown: The Philippines
Peyton Reich
Peyton Reich, Photojournalist
preich@columbiachronicle.com   Peyton Reich is a junior photojournalism major, minoring in marketing. Reich has covered the Mexican Independence parade, Columbia's Black Student Union and theatre performances. Reich joined the Chronicle in August 2023.   Hometown: Flossmoor, Illinois