Elizabeth Sheridan, a sophomore at the Hudson County Schools of Technology, wanted to do something with art to reflect some of the lessons she was learning. As a result, she was named by The Association of Indians in America, South Jersey Chapter, as one of the top 20 winners in this year’s Mahatma Gandhi Art and Writing Contest.
Her name was announced by Dr. Joseph Giammarella, director of High Tech High School (the county high school), and Academy of Architectural and Contemporary Themes (AACT), two weeks ago.
“I drew the poster in class for the contest.” – Elizabeth Sheridan
“I drew the poster in class for the contest,” she said. “It showed the cycles of peace, and was based on a quote from Gandhi. I thought the theme was important. Especially with all the bullying going on.”
Ghandi inspired Dr. King
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was considered the pre-eminent political and ideological leader of India during the Indian independence movement. Influenced by some of the political activists of the American Revolution, especially Thomas Paine, Gandhi developed a philosophy of non-violent resistance that later influenced Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the American Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.
While Sheridan said she hadn’t experienced bullying in her school career, she was very aware of it in the news, and wanted her work to help counter it.
She said it is necessary to teach peace, since most of the bullying goes on in schools.
The oldest national association of Asian Indians in America, the Association of Indians in America represents the hopes and aspirations of immigrants united by their common bond of Indian heritage and commitment to America, focusing on the democratic principles of “one member, one vote.” Its chapters and membership have spread across the United States.
Founded on Aug. 20, 1967, in response to the U.S. Congress’s Immigration Act, the Association of Indians in America adopted its constitution in 1970 and became incorporated in 1971, obtaining its IRS exempt status in 1973.
Sheridan said she became aware of the contest during the end of her freshman year last spring, at which time she started to work on the poster.
Allison Krone, assistant principal at the Schools of Technology, said this had a duel benefit since it was able to highlight Sheridan’s interests in the arts and in the subject matter.
“She is very interested in the arts, and she is able to major in art early and pursue some of her interests in high school, building a portfolio she can use for the future. We’re very glad to make this available for her to make the best use of her talents.”
While the Schools of Technology is very focused on academics, Krone said it also provides venues for various kinds of arts, such as performing arts.