Artist-in-Residence

Launched in Winter 2023, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’s semester-based Artist-in-Residence student position takes a creative and innovative perspective from our community and incorporates it into our DEI work. 

Winter 2024

Below are the works by Ella Moxon, the Winter 2024 Artist-in-Residence, U-M Stamps School of Art and Design Class of ’26. 

A illustration with a dragon and lantern in front of a moon for Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year

“Happy New Year! 2024 is the year of the Dragon, the fifth rotation within the 12-year cycle in the Chinese zodiac. According to legend, a race determined the order of the animals in the cycle. The dragon was thought to be the clear winner due to its high flying ability and raw power; however, it was detoured to save a burning village and eventually kindly gave the rabbit a gust of wind in order to get it to shore, causing the dragon to finish in fifth place behind the rabbit. This story conveys the true meaning behind the year of the dragon, that power is to be used to help others. I kept the story of the dragon in mind when drawing this graphic, depicting the dragon flying high in the sky toward the finish line with the moon behind it.”

Ella Moxon
ODEI Artist-in-Residence
Stamps School of Art and Design ’26

Illustration for Black History Month with a Black woman in the center with with musicians, dancers and speakers around her.

Black History Month

“To honor the contributions of African American artists, I decided to imitate the distinct abstract style of Harlem muralist Aaron Douglas, specifically his mural “Aspects of Negro Life: From Slavery to Reconstruction.” Douglas’s style often included multiple layers of overlapping paint to show light and form, which I felt would suit the graphic nicely. In Douglas’s style, I chose to depict silhouettes of iconic African American activists and artists, including civil rights leader Malcom X, musician and trumpeter Louis Armstrong, jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald, novelist Tori Morrison, performer and movie star Bill Robinson, political philosopher and leader Martin Luther King, Jr. and abolitionist Harriet Tubman. I chose political activist and philosopher Angela Davis as the center of the piece in celebration of her 80th year of tirelessly advocating for Black liberation.”

Ella Moxon
ODEI Artist-in-Residence
Stamps School of Art and Design ’26

Fall 2023

Below are the works by Rin Sharpe, the Fall 2023 Artist-in-Residence, U-M Stamps School of Art and Design Class of ’25. 

Kwanzaa

“For Kwanzaa, I wanted to emphasize the candle-lighting ceremony. The black candle, which represents Umoja (Unity), is lit in the center, and I hoped to draw attention to it by showcasing an African American community behind the candles.”

— Rin Sharpe
ODEI Artist-in-Residence
Stamps School of Art and Design ’25

Illustration for Christmas with children gathered around Santa reading a Christmas story.

Christmas

“When it comes to Christmas, I think back to when I was a kid and my parents would read me a story the night before Christmas about Santa and how he delivers gifts to all the children of the world. I hope to capture the excitement I feel within my own drawing.”

— Rin Sharpe
ODEI Artist-in-Residence
Stamps School of Art and Design ’25

Hanukkah

“For my Hanukkah illustration, I wanted to really emphasize the importance of the menorah and how it brings light during the shortest and darkest days of winter. I also wanted to highlight the importance of the ninth candle, which is used to light the others, and how it brings light and warmth to all those around it.”

— Rin Sharpe
ODEI Artist-in-Residence
Stamps School of Art and Design ’25

Colorful illustration highlighting a variety of disabilities for International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

“I wanted to incorporate a variety of disabilities to showcase that a disability can take form in many different ways and sometimes, not every disability is visible. In addition, I wanted to find a way to incorporate ASL into my design. In the end, I thought of using the ASL alphabet in order to spell out “Michigan,” which aligns right next to the character with hearing aids. Overall, I hope my variety of colors and characters can showcase a wide variety of people out there.”

— Rin Sharpe
ODEI Artist-in-Residence
Stamps School of Art and Design ’25

Illustration of people gathering around a table with traditional Thanksgiving food.

Thanksgiving

“For most of my life, Thanksgiving has been a time when family can get together for one day to sit down and cook and eat a meal together. Since I have moved to college, Thanksgiving now has become a place where I can catch up not (only) with my family but with my friends as well.”

— Rin Sharpe
ODEI Artist-in-Residence
Stamps School of Art and Design ’25

Colorful illustration of girl in sari surrounded by flowers and lit candles, bending down to light a tea light candle.

Diwali

“Diwali is such a rich holiday filled with all kinds of traditions and culture. Since Diwali is also known as the ‘Festival of Lights’ and celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil and the human ability to overcome, I wanted to really emphasize that light within my own illustration.”

— Rin Sharpe
ODEI Artist-in-Residence
Stamps School of Art and Design ’25

An illustration of a girl dressed in traditional regalia, known as a fancy shawl, dancing at the powwow.

Native American Heritage Month

“For this illustration, celebrating Native American Heritage Month, I looked into different traditions and celebrations within Native American communities. Through research, I discovered a traditional dance known as powwow. Powwows are gatherings held by many Native American communities. They’re an opportunity for many indigenous people to socialize, dance, sing, and honor their culture. Here is an illustration of a girl dressed in traditional regalia, known as a fancy shawl, dancing at the powwow.”

— Rin Sharpe
ODEI Artist-in-Residence
Stamps School of Art and Design ’25

National Hispanic Heritage Month

“When it came to creating a graphic for National Hispanic Heritage Month, I honestly was at a bit of a loss on how I wanted to go about it. Given that Hispanic culture encompasses many countries and places of origin, it was really hard to narrow down what and how I wanted to illustrate for the celebration. I ended up creating an illustration that had a focus on family, food, and the many generations that can fit within a family.”

— Rin Sharpe
ODEI Artist-in-Residence
Stamps School of Art and Design ’25

Rosh Hashanah

“When it came to creating a graphic for the Jewish holiday, Rosh Hashanah, I wanted to incorporate every tradition and symbol that surrounds the holiday such as the shofar. I ended up narrowing my focus towards the holiday’s emphasis of a ‘Sweet New Year’ and the tradition of eating apples and honey.”

— Rin Sharpe
ODEI Artist-in-Residence
Stamps School of Art and Design ’25

Winter 2023

Below are the works by Grace Benjamin, the Winter 2023 Artist-in-Residence, U-M Stamps School of Art and Design Class of ’23. 

Disability Pride Month

Disability Pride Month

“Disability Pride month provides an opportunity to shed light on the unique experiences of individuals with disabilities. With this graphic, I aim to inspire empathy, foster understanding, and promote inclusivity.”

— Grace Benjamin
ODEI Artist-in-Residence
Stamps School of Art and Design ’23

An illustration for the celebration of Pride Month. At the center are open hands with the heads of diverse, and resilient LGBTQ+ community members, with a vibrant rainbow in the background.

Pride Month

“This graphic is a visual tribute to the vibrant, diverse, and resilient LGBTQ+ community. Through this illustration, I hope to show that we can create a more compassionate world for us all through inclusion and embracing diversity.”

— Grace Benjamin
ODEI Artist-in-Residence
Stamps School of Art and Design ’23

Jewish American Heritage Month

Jewish American Heritage Month

“This graphic was created to celebrate the rich history and culture of Jewish Americans.”

— Grace Benjamin
ODEI Artist-in-Residence
Stamps School of Art and Design ’23

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

“Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebrates the rich and diverse cultures of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, highlighting their unique histories and contributions to American society.”

— Grace Benjamin
ODEI Artist-in-Residence
Stamps School of Art and Design ’23

Autism Awareness Month

Autism Awareness Month

“Through color and imagery, I aim to convey the complexity and diversity of the autism spectrum. With this piece, I hope to bring awareness to the unique and varied experiences of individuals on the autism spectrum.”

— Grace Benjamin
ODEI Artist-in-Residence
Stamps School of Art and Design ’23

An illustration for the celebration of Eid-al-Fitr

Eid al-Fitr

“My illustration for Eid al-Fitr celebrates the joy and beauty of this important holiday in the Islamic faith. Through the use of light and symbolism, I aim to capture the sense of festivity and celebration that characterizes Eid al-Fitr.”

— Grace Benjamin
ODEI Artist-in-Residence
Stamps School of Art and Design ’23

An illustration for the celebration of Easter

Easter

“Through this illustration, I aimed to capture the essence of hope and renewal that this holiday brings to Christians around the world by using important symbolism to depict the resurrection.”

— Grace Benjamin
ODEI Artist-in-Residence
Stamps School of Art and Design ’23

An illustration for the celebration of Passover

Passover

“This illustration was created in celebration of one of the most important holidays in the Jewish calendar by incorporating symbolism that commemorates the liberation of Jewish people from slavery in ancient Egypt.”

— Grace Benjamin
ODEI Artist-in-Residence
Stamps School of Art and Design ’23

Graphic for Arab American Heritage Month

Arab American Heritage Month

“By utilizing intricate geometric patterns, this graphic was created to honor the vibrant traditions, art, and history included in Arab culture.”

— Grace Benjamin
ODEI Artist-in-Residence
Stamps School of Art and Design ’23

Graphic for Transgender Visibility Day

Transgender Visibility Day

“Utilizing the vibrant colors included in the transgender flag, I created this illustration to highlight the importance of transgender visibility, and the importance of supporting and uplifting transgender voices.”

— Grace Benjamin
ODEI Artist-in-Residence
Stamps School of Art and Design ’23

An illustration for the celebration of Ramadan. At the center of the piece is a glowing crescent moon, symbolizing the start of Ramadan and the hope and renewal it brings.

Ramadan

“In this graphic, I sought to capture the beauty of this sacred month through a vibrant composition. At the center of the piece is a glowing crescent moon, symbolizing the start of Ramadan and the hope and renewal it brings.”

— Grace Benjamin
ODEI Artist-in-Residence
Stamps School of Art and Design ’23

A illustration created for International Women's Day. In the graphic, is a collage of silhouettes with illustrations of historic women encompassing a globe.

International Women's Day

“In this graphic, I created a collage of silhouettes with illustrations of historic women encompassing a globe. This piece was made to celebrate the remarkable achievements of women around the world, past and present, who have shattered barriers, fought for equality, and inspired generations.”

— Grace Benjamin
ODEI Artist-in-Residence
Stamps School of Art and Design ’23

Colorful illustration of jars filled with different colored powder ready to throw, with people dancing in celebration of Holi

Holi

“In this graphic, I used bold colors to capture the essence of Holi and provide a visual representation of the joy and happiness that this holiday brings to those who celebrate.”

— Grace Benjamin
ODEI Artist-in-Residence
Stamps School of Art and Design ’23

Illustration of women of all races and ages for Women's History Month

Women's History Month

“This graphic was made to pay homage to the incredible women who have shaped our world through their vision, bravery, and perseverance.”

— Grace Benjamin
ODEI Artist-in-Residence
Stamps School of Art and Design ’23

Drawing of powerful black men and women throughout history

Black History Month

“In this piece, I created a collage of colorblocked and textured illustrations of notable black figures in order to highlight and celebrate the accomplishments, courage, and activism of Black Americans throughout history.”

— Grace Benjamin
ODEI Artist-in-Residence
Stamps School of Art and Design ’23

Drawing of asian woman standing infront of Lunar New Year Decorations

Lunar New Year

“This piece incorporates traditional East Asian patterns and symbols with my own personal artistic style in order to honor and commemorate the beginning of this year’s lunar calendar and all those who celebrate.”

— Grace Benjamin
ODEI Artist-in-Residence
Stamps School of Art and Design ’23