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NRHC 2021 - Art Gallery

Tyler Anderson, Community College of

Allegheny County

“Sexuality Through A Sociological Lens”

Medium: Digital Art using Adobe 

Human Sexuality is often a topic that is considered taboo in Western culture. My project attempts to explore the historical and cultural connections between sexual art as expressed through ancient Indian art, jewelry, and the phallic architectural art of the Khajuraho Temple and the educational sexual diagrams of human genitalia and educational pamphlets about sexually-transmitted diseases and safe sex. My artwork invites the viewer to look at sexual art through a sociological lens with the hope of de-stigmatizing erotica.  Although da Vinci  stated, "a beautiful body perishes," I hope by glorifying the human desire for sexual intimacy through art,  I can preserve the human body as "a work of art" that "never dies."  
My five concentration pieces are digital artworks constructed using Adobe software. 
•    The first, Anatomy, 20"x14.125", is a psychedelic medical diagram of the human male and female sex organs.  
•    The second, Khajuraho Ritual, 7"x5", is inspired mostly by the Khajuraho Temple in Chhatarpur district, Madhya Pradesh, India, as well as ancient Indian fabric art.  
•    The third, Le Droits des Femmes, 8.5"x14", is a functional pregnancy and abortion pamphlet with credible information regarding women's reproductive health.  
•    The fourth, Self-Pleasure, 17.5"x11.5", is an autoeroticism scene meant to shock the viewer and counterbalance sex shaming.  
•    The fifth, Sex Talk, 11.5"x17.5", is a faux magazine cover that openly discusses STD/STI prevention tips and statistics.

Kaitlin Balasaygun, Ramapo College

“Look At Me”

Medium: Photography

KaitlinBalasaygun_NRHC Submission - Kait


Society has a tendency to place an emphasis on physical health. From a young age we are taught that we must eat nutritious food, exercise often, and sleep well in order to be healthy people, and it is ingrained in us. Yet when it comes to the other type of health, mental health, you find yourself entering a whole new ballpark. Frowned upon by society, the topic of mental health is still shunned in our modern world, despite the fact that 1/5 of the adults in the U.S. are diagnosed with a mental illness. We are subconsciously fed the understanding that we must suppress any sort of mental struggle because it is considered strange and different. People feel forced to hide whatever mental condition they are struggling with, resulting in them being hesitant to speak out and seek the help that they need. This has prevented more than half of people with mental illnesses from receiving the care they need. This is a significant problem as people who do not get help are likely to see their symptoms of mental illness worsen, which can result in really dire and even fatal situations. According to the CDC, suicide rates have increased by 30% since 1999, further emphasizing the need to end the stigmatization against mental illness. As a society, we obviously need to work towards raising more awareness and acceptance for mental health conditions, and I have tried to help draw attention to this through my photography. In capturing and creating a collage of different feelings associated with illnesses like depression and anxiety, I have used my art to try and point out the societal recognition that mental illnesses truly need and deserve.

Maeve Conlon, St. Francis College

“Brooklyn Tough”

Medium: Photography

Brookyln Tough_Maeve Conlon - Maeve Conl


The COVID-19 Pandemic brought the busiest city in the world to a standstill. With many businesses closed, the reminder from the marquee helps to demonstrate the resilience of Brooklyn.

In these terrifying times we are encouraged to Stay Strong and Stay Healthy.  We are reminded that this is only temporary and most importantly, we are loved! 

This image truly encapsulates the resilience of Brooklynites and shows that despite being socially distanced, we are still in this together.

Denise Daniels, Bloomfield College

“Coaster Bus”

Medium: Digital Game


"Coaster Bus" is a 2D infinite runner game that focuses on one of Jamaica's most popular modes of public transportation, the coaster bus. The game highlights the road culture that exists in Jamaica today and touches on the issue of road traffic safety. "Coaster Bus" presents a highly pressing subject matter while simultaneously remaining comical and fun. I undertook this project to bring awareness to the lack of concern that many people exhibit towards improper and unsafe driving behavior. It is in hopes that this game will start a conversation on possible solutions to mitigate this issue.

Destiny King, Bloomfield College
“Human Studies”


The objective of the pieces described in this submission was to establish a connection between the biological sciences and artistic expression. As a biology major, I have limited exposure and access to art classes. Yet, as someone who plans to become a medical illustrator, these seemingly improbable connections are paramount. My project consists of three works spanning different techniques and mediums. The first piece is a series of blind contour drawings focusing on hands and feet. The purpose of this work was to improve my mechanical and observation skills. These pieces varied in size as there were multiple quick studies, but were done in graphite pencil. The next work was an oil painting of hands on an 11x14in plank.


The purpose of this was to familiarize myself with a new medium. The final piece in the series was a take on the 16th century's Dutch tradition of a modern vanitas painting. This is arguably the focal point of all my work. This work is a still-life, which traditionally serves to point out the temporary nature of life, often including symbols, for the senses, wealth, and death. My piece follows these guidelines including a plant, skull, jewelry, and more.


It was completed in acrylic paint on a 16x20in canvas. The commonality between all three works is including a focus on a part of the human form and exploring new techniques or mediums. This is a field which can uncover improbable solutions by exploring the connections between unexpectedly related fields of science and art. Ultimately the work proposed in this series represents these connections.

Oil Hands - Destiny King.png
Vanitas Still Life - Destiny King.png

AnnaMaria Leal, St. Francis College

“How Many More?”

How Many More - AnnaMaria Leal - NRHC 20


Depicted is a collage featuring photos taken on two different occasions. The first occasion is a photoshoot in honor of those we have lost in mass shootings. The second is a protest held in Manhattan by the gun control advocacy group Moms Demand Action. The aim of the piece is for the viewer to grasp the severity of the issue of gun violence within the United States. A singular photo could not do justice to the severity of the issue. This piece looks to the viewer to try and make sense of the impossible question, how many more? How many more people have to lose their lives to gun violence before the United States enacts stronger regulations regarding the buying and selling of guns and passes bills that help put an end to gun violence.

At end of 2019, there had been 417 mass shootings in the U.S. according to the data collected by Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit organization which collects data on every mass shooting that occurs in the U.S. There are straightforward answers to how we can make strides towards ending gun violence within our country, by passing bills that strengthen and put in place regulations such as background checks which would prevent guns from getting into the wrong hands. However, gun control feels like an impossible issue to resolve because of the great division that exists within our country. It is an issue that divides so many people, yet still effects all us of. The varying cultures and political standings of people throughout the United States has led to a standstill in achieving the more than possible solution to such deadly issue.

Cierra Moranti, Monroe College

“Liberty is the Root of Prosperity”

Medium: Drawing

Liberty is the Root of Prosperity - Cier


"Liberty is the Root of Prosperity" is a representation of a tree of life with the names of prominent Civil Rights Leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. Stokely Carmicheal and John Lewis and current Black Lives Matter leaders such as Colin Kaepernick, Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi. It also features the names of those who have unjustly lost their lives such as Eric Garner, Micheal Brown, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor.

The piece, which will be hand drawn on a 20 by 20 canvas, is also a representation of how history repeats itself as it brings awareness to a reoccurring issue that has been present since 1960s. 

This piece represents the unanswered question: "Why aren't black lives entitled to their liberties after 60+ years?" It is the hope of the artist that this piece will open viewers to ask "When will the cycle end and how can we help overcome these injustices?"

Sydney Salomon, Saint Elizabeth University
“Skincare in the 21st Century: Solving Acne Vulgaris through the Usage of Prescribed and OTC Medication”


With the 21st century skincare industry succeeding with the production of popular essentials, are over-the-counter products as effective as the medications licensed professionals favor for treating the common skin condition, acne vulgaris? 

One goal of this project is to differentiate the effectiveness of prescribed and over-the-counter medications; treatment of acne. Another goal is to provide proper education of skincare products and hygiene to the audience by exploring the ingredients and effectiveness necessary for the world's awareness of this skin condition, which has been a controversial topic through natural history, etiology, and treatment.

An artwork presentation will be a visual depiction of the contrast between prescribed and over-the-counter acne medications' effectiveness. Two realistic models of either a silicone mannequin or a surface of the skin will represent the results of using the two different sources of acne medications for the appropriate period of time. In-depth explanations of the contrast between the two medication sources will be provided through facial models to analyze the appearances, history, and medical effectiveness. 


The project's support background will include a community of the Saint Elizabeth's Honors Program and Healthcare departments along with my personal healthcare specialists from the Soma Skin and Laser Dermatology Office in Millburn, NJ. Saint Elizabeth's Honors Program will provide general support of the overall project in preparation for the conference. Saint Elizabeth's Healthcare Department, Nursing and Sciences, will provide insight into the topic of acne, along with recommendations for conducting research for detailed discoveries. Soma Skin and Laser will provide effective/popular prescribed medications and suggest over-the-counter products for usage.

Sydney Salomon's NRHC Art Submission   -

Sydney Samele, University of Hartford

“Print-demic: Flood Mythology”

Medium: Painting


Mythology is rarely investigated for its role in the evolution of our culture. When people discuss mythology, they usually refer to books and movies, such as Harry Potter. Indeed myths have come to embody most of our entertainment industry. However, the true meaning of mythology lies deeper than fiction. Anthropologist Clifford Geertz defines culture as the ability to create symbolism. Symbols in turn create myths. Myth incorporates religion, social norms, traditions, and human behaviors, thus becoming the essence of culture. Mythology is the groundwork of society. 

Myths address the inquisitiveness of people through questions such as Who? Where? and Why? Flood myths, in particular, originate from historical floods. The flood washes away the world to bring new life. It represents destruction, rebirth, and immersion. It is greatly feared, yet brings with it, a promise to start over. I will utilize a relief printmaking technique to create four prints. The process involves carving an image into a block and printing it. The stories of Noah's Ark, the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Greek Flood, and the Nile River will be my inspiration. Each print will depict a different flood myth, its historical role, and modern relevance.

In my presentation I will discuss the elements of the story, relief printmaking, and how we can cope with life through mythology. The realization that flood mythology correlates with the pandemic will become clear. The pandemic is a flood. Covid has forced people to confront nature, change, and adapt. We must accept the pandemic and endure, like the survivors from flood mythology. People find comfort in relating their lives to stories. 
Through mythology, people can understand each other and the world around them. Once we overcome the flood of this pandemic our world will be reborn again.

Saray Vazquez, Macaulay Honors College (CUNY)
“The Never-Ending Project: Dealing with Grief and Loss in the Visual Arts"

Medium: Photography


Everyone has experienced some form of loss and the resulting grief and pain. One is suddenly thrust into unbearable emotions as they try to function day-to-day. The grieving process is unique to each person and in many cases is done on a "make it up as you go" basis. This project, which will include photography and mourning object-inspired works, focuses on the role of art in grieving as applied to the broadest definition of loss and grief—both physical and metaphorical loss that we may experience individually or on a societal level. Much of our healing is processed through memories, photographs, mementos, and ephemera. Many gravitate to the visual aspect of mourning as evident in mourning objects produced in different cultures. This visual project illustrates issues that arise surrounding identity while processing loss.Through a series of 30 photographs in a virtual book format, this project documents the progression of a parent's dementia in the span of three years and includes images created in response to the parent's passing. Illustrations and embroidery are presented amongst photographs in reference to mourning objects created in different cultures. Loss is a universal experience that comes in many different shapes and forms. This research and visual project attempts to explore the role of art in the grieving process and hopefully provide some guidance to those dealing with similar experiences.

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