Kansas State University


The Pilots Program

Sophomore Spotlight: Maria Vieyra

Pilots Sophomore Maria Vieyra recently submitted an original piece of artwork she developed as a part of the Canvas of Diversity Initiative that aims to turn the K-State Student Union construction zone into a place for campus expression, multiculturalism, anti-oppression, and social justice. maria vieyra

What message did you want to convey by creating this piece?

“I wanted to show people that moving forward doesn’t mean pushing anyone back.  We should be aware that we are different and that’s not a bad thing.  Our background, culture, and heritage are important and we shouldn’t disregard that. Some people say its good to take a “colorblind” approach, but I feel like we should be embracing differences and appreciating color in the world.”

Where did you derive your inspiration for this piece?

“Mostly caffeine…kidding, but personally, I have met a lot of people who would like to take the colorblind approach to meeting people, but I don’t because I want to embrace differences and promote others to do as well  This painting was created to show people how beautiful color is.”

How else can students demonstrate their awareness for issues of diversity and social justice if not with art?

“There’s a variety of ways to be active in these issues like protesting and attending meetings of different organizations that center around these issues.  Definitely challenge yourself to read and learn more to make yourself a more well-rounded person who is aware of the issues.”

What advice can you give to the Pilots students to help them increase their awareness of social justice and issues in diversity?

“Go to events! Even if you don’t have to go, still go because it will really open your eyes and let you see how different people are which is a wonderful thing to see.”

Any final thoughts?

“Pulling a two-day all nighter to create this piece is not advisable! Just be aware of these opportunities because I was not aware of this initiative until just a few days before the submission date. Always be on the lookout for opportunities like these to get involved and showcase your skills.”


Maria's Painting2



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