BUCKHANNON — Local teen Emily Adams showcased her impressive artistic ability with a successful submission to First Lady Melania Trump’s commemorative exhibit at the White House. Adams’ piece will be featured in “Building the Movement: America’s Youth Celebrate 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage” honoring the centennial anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave American women the right to vote.
The exhibit launches this August and will showcase Adams’ artwork, as well as other young American depictions of this historic milestone in Women’s history. Only one student from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, America Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the US Virginia Islands were selected, so the Upshur County student will proudly represent all of West Virginia with her submission.
Youth across the United States and its territories were asked for submissions illustrating individuals, objects and events that represented the Women’s Suffrage Movement.
To be considered, the requirements were as follows: Two-dimensional, created on an 8”x8” piece of paper, include a statement up to 300 characters about the artwork and how it represents women’s suffrage, and be based on suffragists, suffrage symbols or suffrage events.
Adams’ piece depicted Coralie Franklin Cook, who was born into slavery and become the first descendant of a Monticello slave known to have graduated college. Cook graduated from Storer College in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. From that point on, she was noted as a leader and powerful speaker throughout the state, as well as Washington, D.C.
In a press release from the White House, First Lady Melania Trump stated, “As we celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the 19thAmendment, it’s important to include our children in the conversation so they can learn and understand the history behind the women’s suffrage movement. For decades, women leaders lobbied, marched, and protested for equality and their right to vote in the United States. It is my hope that this project will both support and expand the important conversations taking place on equality and the impact of peaceful protests, while encouraging children to engage in the history behind this consequential movement in their own home state.”
Adams will be a senior at Buckhannon-Upshur High School this fall. Although art is a hobby for Adams, she also commissions portraits for people upon request. Though she didn’t expect to win, Adams said she was very hopeful her piece would be selected. “It is mind blowing that my 8”x8” artwork is going to be in the White House,” Adams exclaimed. The young artist has specialized in portraits since 7th grade and encourages others to find their own individual style of art. Adams said she tells others, “Find you, through art.”
Adams’ parents expressed, “We are exceptionally excited of this news. This means so much to our daughter as she has always been not only a terrific artist, but also a big fan of our elegant and beautiful First Lady Melania.”
The artwork will be displayed alongside images of women’s suffrage parades, gatherings and marches that took place at or around the White House this August.