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An Artist's Response to Human Rights

Each year since 2012, the Orange County Human Rights Commission collaborates with the Orange County Arts Council and SUNY Orange Cultural Affairs to present "An Artist’s Response to Human Rights," an art exhibit celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Declaration was the first international recognition that all human beings have fundamental rights and freedoms.  This exhibit offers juniors and seniors in Orange County high schools the opportunity of expressing their feelings about the importance of human rights in today’s world by depicting artworks and writing poems or essays about topics related to the 30 Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Visual and literary submissions were made by 151 students from twelve high schools.  The students’ works are their interpretations of the 30 Articles. The schools represented in the 2016 exhibit are Cornwall Central High School, Middletown High School, Minisink Valley High School, Monroe Woodbury High School, Pine Bush High School, Port Jervis High School, Washingtonville High School, Storm King School, John S. Burke Catholic High School, BOCES, Warwick High School, and James I. O’Neill High School.

“This year’s Human Rights Art Exhibit again reflects the understanding and commitment of many of our Orange County high school students to the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights established by the General Assembly of the United Nations 68 years ago on December 10, 1948.  The Orange County Human Rights Commission takes much pleasure in the collaborative efforts of SUNY Orange, the Orange County Arts Council along with the Commission, for providing a platform for students to enhance their appreciation of human rights,” states Orange County Human Rights Commission Chairman Fred Cook.

The exhibits can be viewed from Dec. 1 through 18 at Orange Hall Gallery, SUNY Orange Middletown campus and through Dec. 16 at the Mindy Ross Gallery, SUNY Orange Newburgh campus with receptions scheduled on Sunday, Dec. 4 from 1 to 3 p.m. and Tuesday, Dec. 6 from 6 to 8 p.m., respectively. The exhibits and receptions are free and open to the public.

Music at the Newburgh reception will be provided by pianist Emmanuel Johnson, senior, NFA. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday – Thursday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday plus 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on December 18 at Orange Hall Gallery and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Friday in the Mindy Ross Gallery.

Questions may be directed to and (845) 341-4891. You may also visit the Cultural Affairs website at

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Dorothy Szefc
Cultural Affairs