Visit our virtual gallery of students’ artistic creations
Visit last year’s virtual gallery of students’ artistic creations
2023 Arts Competition
The Arts Competition encourages Humanities Core students to interpret course themes through artistic expression. Students submit art works in any medium for a prize (1st place: $350, 2nd place: $250, 3rd place $150).
This year, Humanities Core students are invited to submit original works of art in any medium — including original musical composition and dance — centered on the theme Portals. The theme is a springboard for students to expand upon Humanities Core ideas, texts, visual images, artists, narratives, and more that have inspired their curiosity and creativity. Portals, both literal and metaphoric, pervade the works we are studying. The Brigata in Boccaccio’s Decameron, for example, used their storytelling as a portal through which they could envision a reality safe from the plague. Sanford Biggers and Carrie Mae Weems use reworked quilts and daguerreotypes as portals through which Black histories are retold. The graphic novel adaptation of Parable of the Sower serves as a portal through which Afro-futurist worldscapes are accessed. These and many other works from thinkers such as John Jennings, Gene Yang, and Charles Yu explore possibility through openings, passages, gateways, thresholds, conduits–motifs resonating with the theme Portals
How have you experienced this theme in Humanities Core? What texts have transported you into new realities? What worlds have you uncovered throughout your Humanities Core journey?
Students submissions are judged by a panel of Humanities Core instructors, and the winners are announced at the Humanities Core Arts Exhibition, which will be held in-person. The exhibition is at once a celebration of student creativity and an experiential space in which students, instructors, and the public can connect intellectually and socially around the ideas Humanities Core generates. All student artworks are displayed, often alongside the artworks of instructors or thematically-related materials from UCI Libraries Special Collections. Since its inception, the Arts Competition and Exhibition has generated multiple creative projects of its kind across campus, including the Medical Humanities project The Scribe and student exhibitions in UCI Special Collections.
The deadline for all submissions is 4:00 on Monday, April 10, 2023. Please submit no more than one artwork. All participants must fill out the Arts Submission Form. Works submitted as digital files can be uploaded with this form; to arrange for delivery of physical art pieces, please contact Dr. Susan Morse at email@example.com or Professor Castillo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winners will be announced at the 7th Annual Humanities Core Arts Celebration on May 4, 2023, from 5-7 pm, in HG 1010. Artworks will also be exhibited in the Humanities Core Digital Art Gallery. Please direct questions to Larisa Castillo (email@example.com) or Susan Morse (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This program has been funded by Illuminations: The Chancellor’s Arts & Culture Initiative
2022 Arts Competition
The 2022 Celebration of Humanities Core Arts once again exhibited virtually the creative works Humanities Core students submitted, on the theme Dreams.
Congratulations to this year’s winners:
First Place: Anonymous, Counterattack of the Sea
Second Place: Adison Brager, Wasteland Baby
Third Place: Corinna Cannell, The Beginning of a Dream
Honorable Mentions: Abby Redmond, Achieving Mindfulness Through the Unconscious Mind; Chloe Wilson, am I real?; and Caitlyn Cheung, Just a Dream.
Humanities Core students are invited to submit original works of art in any medium centered on the theme: Dreams. Winners will be announced at the virtual Humanities Arts Celebration on May 6, 2022, 11 a.m. on UCI Zoom. Artworks will be exhibited in the Humanities Core Digital Art Gallery.
The deadline for all submissions is 4:00 p.m. on April 4, 2022. Please submit no more than one artwork. All participants must fill out the Arts Submission Form. Works submitted as digital files can be uploaded with this form; to arrange for delivery of physical art pieces, please contact Professor Castillo at email@example.com.
The 2021 Celebration of Humanities Core Arts
exhibits artworks that Core students submitted to Core’s Annual Arts Competition. This year’s celebration marks the launch of the Humanities Core digital art gallery, which displays students’ creative responses to the theme of Alternative Realities. Winners of the competition are announced at the celebration.
Congratulations to this year’s winners:
First Place: Maya Yoshikawa Kang, The Roles Reversed: Humans as Spectacles
Second Place: Tina Gu, Reality: Twice Removed
Third Place (Tie): Jorina Chen, Coexistence, and Robert Bautista, Gateway
Honorable Mentions: Michael Gabriel Crisostomo Villora, Chimerical Love, and Daniel Sanchez, Fallen Alien
Organized for the past five years by Dr. Larisa Castillo, Associate Professor of Teaching, Humanities Core’s Arts Competition and Celebration encourage creative, experiential learning that helps students connect to humanistic ideas, their humanity, and their community. Accordingly, the Celebration itself occasions creative connections–between students, faculty, staff, and the ideas that have inspired students. Family and friends are welcome.
2021 Arts Competition
For this year’s Art Competition, Humanities Core invites its students to submit original works of art in any medium on the theme Alternative Realities.
All are invited to the Celebration of Humanities Core Arts on Friday, May 21, 11am-12pm on Zoom (meeting ID 99837393550).
2020 Arts Competition
Our congratulations to:
Reiko Inoue, first place, for the watercolor and colored pencil piece Dance of Human Animals
Nicole Lam, second place, for the acrylic painting Lion Girl
Anonymous, third place, for the acrylic painting You’re an Animal
And thanks to all who joined us in celebrating students’ creative work at this year’s Arts Gala, featured in an article in New University.
For the fourth annual Art Competition, Humanities Core invites its students to submit original works of art in any medium centered on the theme Transformations.
The deadline for all submissions is 3pm on January 10, 2020. All entrants must complete the online submission form. Works submitted as digital files can be uploaded with this form; if you are delivering physical artwork to the Humanities Core office (185 HIB), you must upload a photo of the artwork with this form. Please submit no more than one entry. Contact for questions: Dr. Castillo, firstname.lastname@example.org
2019 Arts Competition
Our congratulations to:
Aliza Hasnain, first place award for the painting Worldliness in Cordoba
Sherry Valle, second place award for the digital collage A Desolated World
Gabriel Gonzales, third place award for the screenplay Benvenuti a Roma
And thanks to all who joined us in celebrating students’ creative work at this year’s Arts Gala.
Submit no more than one entry by 4pm on January 25, 2019. Physical works, such as paintings, should be easily transportable and should be submitted to the Humanities Core office, HIB 185. Digital documents, such as digital art or texts, should be submitted electronically, and recorded performances–drama, dance, film, music–should not exceed 10 minutes and should also be submitted electronically.
A signed submission form must be turned in to HIB 185. It can be downloaded and printed out or filled out in the office.
Submission Form Electronic File Upload
2018 Arts Competition Award Winners: The Tempest
She is utterly alone and
she is all her people.
She is her grandmother at 43
The day they all remember, 1980
the symbol of equality and humanity shot down in His home
Her people screaming and hiding and running and fighting
Another Napoleon taking power;
a different Napoleón echoing false hope for democracy
She is her mother at 16
in the back of a van
scared and wide-eyed as they pass golden poppy fields
-blinding coins, blond hair, the burning sun
culture tainted by a deep golden ichor-
happy to adapt and learn the ways of the white man
She is brown and white and new and next
And with confusing mestizo-ness
She is X
Second Place: Peter McEldowney for his painting, Ariel
Third Place: Thu-An Hanley for her digital illustration, Mine Own King
Students are invited to submit a work of art in any medium that responds to the theme “Tempest.” Students are encouraged to interpret this theme broadly (e.g., submissions may respond to Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, revisions of Shakespeare’s play, cultural representations of other tempests, environmental issues related to empire, etc.)
Submit no more than one entry to the Humanities Core office, HIB 185, before noon, March 9, 2018.
Recorded performances–drama, dance, film, music–should not exceed 10 minutes and should be submitted electronically.
All other works should be easily transportable.
All entries should be submitted with the submission form.
2017 Arts Competition Award Winners: The Art of Empire
I lie here thinking I can sleep
for the rest of my life
Although I’m not too sure my shirts will be happy about that
They are lonely and the closet is too small for them
Their sleeves cramp from being folded too long
and they are starting to smell funny
A sort of mustiness and dandruff
that is enough to make the saris cough
dust filling moth holes to make up for this mess
It’s about time they get some sunlight
But the girl who wore them decided
that the closed life suits her
So after years of stains, spills, and knots
she succumbs into the dark with them
There are days when the smoke stitches a flame
into my fingers,
When the fiends who call themselves rulers
slap the needles out of my hand
they are too big for our homes
Let us rest something lighter on our shoulders
Only fire may free us from scars so white
where even enemies are branded upon Indian arms
We are tired, we are lonely,
Our spines cramp from bending over heaps too long
And this stench of death,
it is licking its way through combustion
So for now, I will spin a song of free breath, of free spirit
and our cotton nights will be pulled into sparks
Yes, I lie here thinking I can sleep
for the rest of my life
Although I’m not too sure I could rest
Under these burning skies tonight