A virtual art gallery created by three recent college graduates is helping kids who are stuck at home process the racial unrest that followed the death of George Floyd.

#ArtForJustice was unveiled June 8 to show solidarity in memory of Floyd, who was killed May 25 when a white police officer knelt on his neck in Minneapolis.

Karim Farishta, who recently earned a master’s degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, said he founded the #ArtForJustice to provide kids who may not have the words to express their emotions with an artistic outlet.

“They didn’t have a moment to express at times with words the trauma and the rawness they were feeling,” he told CNN.

Farishta teamed up with INVI, a minority-owned architecture visualization company in Houston co-founded by Afreen Ali and Giangtien Nguyen, to commemorate Floyd and support the Black Lives Movement.

What started out a local effort to “show support” in Floyd’s hometown of Houston quickly “turned into an expression of love, celebration, and solidarity,” Farishta said, with submissions from over 160 artists from 19 states and six countries, Houstonia magazine reported.

The virtual art gallery is now filled with creations — including paintings, protest photography, sculptures and abstract word art — from kids around the globe trying to understand the protests against racial injustice.

16-year-old Tory’elle Coleman, a native of Washington, D.C., who donated four paintings he created with his peers, said he was “very disturbed” by the viral video that depicted Floyd’s death.

“Art is definitely a way you can heal yourself,” he told CNN. “You can draw your emotions. You could paint. You could color it.”


Leave a Reply