Emma Driker, of Huntington Woods and Berkley High School, was a winner in a competition held by the Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus to create art under the theme of “The Power of Choice.” Driker’s piece was of two people holding blank signs, which represented the different ways people can choose to use their voices.
BERKLEY/HUNTINGTON WOODS — A Berkley High School student and Huntington Woods resident was a winner in a recent competition held by the Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus.
The Holocaust Memorial Center, located in Farmington Hills, held the fourth annual Kappy Family Anne Frank and Elie Wiesel “Night” Art & Writing Competition. The contest was open to seventh and eighth graders who could create poetry, prose, 2D or 3D art about Anne Frank and her diary, and ninth through 12th graders who could create poetry, prose, drawings, paintings, photos and 3D art about Elie Wiesel’s book, “Night.” Winners were awarded $200, while their teachers were awarded a $100 Amazon gift card.
Emma Driker, a senior at Berkley High, was one of 10 winners in the high school category of the competition. Within the theme of the competition, “The Power of Choice,” Driker created a drawing of two people holding up signs among a crowd. The signs the two individuals are holding are blank.
“I left the signs blank to represent the different ways that people choose to use their voices,” she said. “The theme of the art competition was ‘The Power of Choice,’ and so I felt that protest is an ultimate form of choice because you choose to fight for different things, and so by leaving the signs blank, I was hoping to prompt the viewers to ask themselves what they would choose to fight for.”
HMC Education Specialist Aliza Tick said the center’s mission through the competition was to educate, engage and empower the students and others by remembering the Holocaust.
“This is a way of really empowering students, not just to learn about the Holocaust or read those two works, but then to take it to the next level and move from thought to action by using their creative expression,” she said. “We teach a lot ‘The Power of Choice’ at our museum that the Holocaust was not inevitable. It was the result of choices and this many years later, there’s still all kinds of suffering and oppression and hatred going on. And so we challenged all of these students to look at what a better world would mean to them and then to think about what they should do to make the world a better place.”
Tick said that neither the art nor the writings specifically had to do with the Holocaust to be submitted, and that it was more about how the students interpreted the contest’s theme.
“It’s what people do with it. It’s what they make of it,” she said. “When they look out to our world today, 2020 is not 1945 or 1933. So where can we find instances of needing to step up and make our world a better place today and sharing our voice with others.”
After hearing of the theme, Driker was inspired to create her piece. She also was inspired by many of the protests she’s seen this past summer.
“I was inspired by the social climate and there were so many protests going on and they all seemed like different representations of how people choose to use their voices,” she said. “That was a big thing that inspired my (art).”
Driker was excited that the center and competition chose her work as one of the winners. Every winning entry can be viewed at www.holocaustcenter.org/competition.
“I was glad to hear they thought that the piece was a good representation of the theme … and that statement I put along with it was a reflection of how choice was seen in our community. I was glad I was able to convey that,” she said.