Guest Curator: Clottee Hammons, Creative Director, Emancipation Arts LLC

Human contrasts are those individuals that on the surface appear very dissimilar and disconnected.  What might an old white man have in common with a young Black man?  In “nowspeak” it might be expressed as intersectionality.


Perhaps they are poor… and employers will not hire “their kind”.
Perhaps they are both experiencing food insecurity… and depend on fleeting street kitchens.

Perhaps they are both military veterans… which has resulted in mental health issues and an unwieldy system has failed them.
Perhaps they are immigrants… scanning the air for a reassuring and familiar phrase.
Perhaps they are homeless… and lonely.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. referred to them in his famous “I Have A Dream” speech. They have always existed in the world, the country and in Arizona.  In this exhibition artists Sebastiao Pereira, Leonard Wilson, Scott Chamberlain and Peter Votichenko look deep into humanity to render the Veterans of Creative Suffering that are all around us.

Sponsored by the City of Mesa’s Diversity Office and in conjunction with the Regional Unity ArtWalk. 

Members of the community are invited to create their own visual interpretation of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s visionary ideas and insightful observations of America. For four weeks in January, Clottee Hammons, curator of the Human Contrasts exhibition, will select her favorite visual narrations. Four winning artists will receive $100 Visa gift cards. Winning artworks will be publicly shared via Mesa Arts Center social media, added to the museum’s website, and publicly displayed at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum during the last two weeks of February 2021.

Submission Process:

  • Email your submission to:
  • Entries must include:
    • Artist’s Full Name
    • Artist’s City and State
    • Contact (if different from message email)
    • Artwork Title
    • Artwork Medium
    • Artwork Size


  • Artists of all ages and mediums are welcome!
  • Only one work will be accepted per artist per week.
  • Artists can submit one new artwork for consideration each week.
  • MCA Museum and Mesa Arts Center reserve the right to refuse any work and delete offensive content.


  • One winner will be selected each week to receive a $100 Visa gift card via email.
  • Winning artists will be invited to display their work in the museum's classroom (or possibly lobby) from February 16-28, 2021. It is the artists’ responsibility to deliver the artwork to the museum. All wall objects must be ready to hang and will not be accepted without a proper hanging device in place.


  • First Artwork Submission Deadline: Mon, January 11 (midnight Pacific Time)
    Winner: Tal Dvir (Chandler, AZ), Martin Luther King Jr, Oil on canvas, 20 x 16 inches.

  • Second Artwork Submission Deadline: Mon, January 18 (midnight Pacific Time)
    Winner:  Laurie Nessel (Tempe, AZ), Discover the Element of Good (front and back), Glass, 1.78 x 2.79 x .60 inches

    Laurie Nessal

  • Third Artwork Submission Deadline: Mon, January 25 (midnight Pacific Time)
    Winner:  Laurie Nessel (Tempe, AZ) MLK BLM (front and back), Glass bead, 3.12 x 2.27 x .92 inches.

  • Fourth Artwork Submission Deadline: Mon, February 1 (midnight Pacific Time)
    Winner:  Joanne McIver Moss (Roswell, GA), Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mixed media, 36 x 46 inches

Each January, residents from the cities and towns of Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Phoenix, Scottsdale and Guadalupe gather at Tempe Town Lake to celebrate diversity and culture during the annual Regional Unity Walk. While it’s still not safe to gather in large groups, the need for unity is greater than ever.


In honor of the 18th year of the Regional Unity event, these Valley cities are coming together to host a “Unity ArtWalk: A Visual Journey of Diversity, Culture and Equity.” Each city has compiled a list of signature art pieces, including murals, photos, performances and sculptures for the community to experience. The majority of the featured art is accessible without going indoors, so it’s a safe activity to enjoy as a family outing, date night or even to escape your neighborhood to explore a nearby city.


Use the map below to guide you through the ArtWalk. Be sure to use #UnityArtWalk and track as many as you can!


Art Map

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