ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — A significant number of submissions have been received for New York State’s annual fine arts and essay exhibition honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The New York State Education Department and Office of General Services announced that prior to the Martin Luther King Jr., holiday, a record-breaking number of students participated in the 2022 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Fine Arts and Essay Exhibition.

This exhibition is led annually by NYSEF where schools are invited to honor the legacy of MLK by submitting original student artwork and essays. Pieces illustrated Dr. King’s Six Principales and Steps of Nonviolence and celebrate his birthday.

According to NYSED, 2,7000 pieces of student art were submitted from over 90 public and private schools across the state. This marked the first time more than 1,000 pieces of student artwork will be displayed that were inspired by Dr. King’s commitment to nonviolent advocacy.

Dr. King forged an enduring legacy for the world to learn from and emulate,” State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa said in a press release. “His vision of a better, more just world, is captured and reflected beautifully in the artwork and essays that are included in this exhibit. New York’s students have created a moving celebration of Dr. King’s life and legacy.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the epitome of moral leadership. He used knowledge, self-confidence, passion, determination, and courage as weapons against injustice throughout his life,” Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young added. “The record-breaking number of powerful, thoughtful submissions for this year’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Fine Arts and Essay Exhibition are a testament to the continuing impact of Dr. King’s words and actions on generations of New York students.” 

To continue to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King and to celebrate Black History Month, several pieces of student art will be exhibited on the Empire State Plaza in Albany starting January 17 and throughout the month of February.

The entire exhibit is posted online on the Empire State Plaza website.