African-Americans Portraits Displayed for Black History Month

Feb 27, 2014

In celebration of Black History Month, former Newman student, Jennifer Robinson, will display three pieces of original artwork during the Final Friday show, beginning tomorrow in the Steckline Gallery from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The inspiration for the artwork came from a Newman class, but not an art class as one might expect.

Jennifer Robinson artThe course, “The Voice of the People” acquaints students with the development of African-American identity during the Reconstruction Era by exploring key literary, philosophical, and artistic works, classroom dialogue, participatory learning, creative endeavors, and essay writing.  “The Voice of the People” is part of Newman University’s nationally-recognized core-curriculum, the Newman Studies Program, and is team taught by  Christopher Fox, associate professor of Philosophy,and Pamela Pancake, assistant professor of Art and Graphic Design.

According to Pancake, the “Voice of the People” is about African- American voices. “In the process of creating the portraits, I supplied Jennifer with lists of words from three of the readings, and she incorporated them into the silhouettes of African-Americans,” Pancake said.

Pancake added, “The idea was that these words were in the minds of African-Americans as they struggled to break the chains of slavery, struggle to create their own identity, and still struggle today for true equality in their own homeland.”

The three images will remain on display for a few weeks. The prints are for sale and proceeds will be donated to the Women’s Initiative Network (W.I.N.). The prints may be purchased for $100 each. W.I.N. helps women in Wichita transition through life difficulties by providing social, educational and general life skills that allow them to regain job security in today’s work force.

Additional artwork will also be on display by current students, Kaylyn Slama, Janell Linnebur and Natalie Santiago as well as artwork by Larry Schwarm, Distinguished Professor of Photography at Wichita State University, and Jeff Pulaski, Professor of Graphic Design at Wichita State University. Schwarm’s work is a photograph portrait with proceeds also designated for W.I.N.



By Robin Allard

Robin Allard is an international graduate student at Newman University in the MBA program. Hailing from France, Robin enjoys playing soccer, cooking, and writing. Follow Robin's blog at