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Works from Holocaust Commission’s Annual Student Visual Arts Competition to Be Exhibited at ODU Virginia Beach

A collection of artwork by middle and high school students from Hampton Roads will be displayed May 19 to June 6 at the Old Dominion University Virginia Beach Higher Education Center as part of an annual competition held in honor of Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel.

The competition is sponsored by the Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. The organization invited students in grades 6-12 to participate in writing and visual arts competitions, with a main goal of encouraging them to apply lessons of history to moral decisions they make daily.

Through studying the Holocaust and its ties to modern genocide, civil rights and other historical constructs, students explore the issues of moral courage as well as the dangers of prejudice, peer pressure and indifference.

The art to be exhibited at ODU Virginia Beach will demonstrate how the students have learned from a tragedy, while encouraging other youth to not let such a catastrophe occur again. This year's competition included inspirational prompts, such as the well-known statement by anthropologist Margaret Mead: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

The exhibit's opening reception will be held from 5-7 p.m. on May 20. It is free and open to the public. ODU's Virginia Beach campus is located at 1881 University Drive. For more information, call 368-4100 or visit www.odu.edu/vabeach.