The newly renovated ACE Student Lounge has picked up patronage in the form of displayed student art. First-year Cassidy Bingham has been working with the New College Student Alliance to keep up the space covered in new and interesting artistic pieces, and with the help of second-year and Catalyst Business Editor Corey Rae Rodda, Bingham presented a “Workers’ Rights” art show in the Lounge.
“The goal of the show is to educate people about the [Coalition for Immokalee Workers (CIW)] versus having a trip to Immokalee, which is less accessible,” Bingham said.
The artwork displayed highlights the plight of farm workers who suffer under the oppression attributed to their employment as migrant workers. Novocollegians associated with the on-campus group Students Working for Equal Rights (SWER) created each of the art pieces to draw attention to the unfair treatment of these workers by their employer, Publix.
One slightly controversial piece of “art” was a cake that Rodda commissioned featuring a photo of CIW protesters sporting signs saying, “I go hungry today so my children don’t have to tomorrow,” and words underneath the picture that read, “Pay a Living Wage.” The cake was made at Publix.
“It mostly just started as kind of like, ‘How ironic would it be if we went to Publix and had them make a cake about this,’” Bingham explained. “But then it became a thing where [it was like], ‘How many people at this Publix, employees at this Publix, would see this and maybe reflect on it?’”
The CIW “Workers’ Rights” art show will remain in the ACE Lounge until Apr. 26, and the members of SWER invite the New College community to see it before it is removed.