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On March 12, 2020, young artists from throughout the community showcased original artworks at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. The artworks highlighted the themes, accomplishments, or stories amplified through Lighting the Way profiles. Many of the projects focused on the anniversary of the 19th Amendment, honored the unfinished legacy of the women’s suffrage movement, and highlighted women who were civically engaged.

Read below for details on how to add your Artwork to the Re-IGNITE Showcase.

IGNITE Showcase Winners

A panel of judges reviewed all the entries and selected winners in each of three age categories. Click on the selected winners below to view a larger image.

Drawing of Rosetta Douglass

High School — Sophia Ponte, Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School, Grade 11. Drawing of Rosetta Douglass. “I realized that in many ways, her relation to her father (Frederick Douglass) and the overlapping bigotry of being both black and a woman in the late 1800’s was likely overshadowing her true talents and potential…I love that Rosetta was as dedicated to social activism as she was to her family, namely her six children…In a way, this piece is not only a love letter to Rosetta, but for my own mother, too. If they’d have met, I’m sure they would have gotten along famously.”   — Sophia Ponte


Painting by Janice Wang

Grades 7 & 8: Janice Wang, Our Sisters’ School, Grade 8. Painting inspired by Mary Elizabeth Hartley. “Mary Elizabeth Hartley was an example of a woman who broke the stereotype. As a lieutenant and captain she must have led many people to be their best self and to be positive during extremely scary times…She (Hartley) was…stationed in many countries in Asia including Thailand, Japan, and Korea, which connects to the Filipina woman in my painting…Asians aren’t as noticed and celebrated in society as other races, so I try my best to show my art to others to help them notice and understand my culture.”  — Janice Wang


Grades 5 & 6: Stella Lafferty, Medway Middle School, Grade 6. Painting of Marian Shaw Smith. “I love my art to have meaning beyond the first impression. This piece shows more than Marian Shaw Smith and her accomplishments. It also shows other parts of her life…The main focus of the art, the desk at which Marian Shaw Smith herself sits, is laid with an old box camera, adding to her focus as a photographer, a log, a necessity in this scene because of her job aboard ship as a log keeper.”  — Stella Lafferty


See a Slideshow of the IGNITE Showcase

There were twenty five entries to the IGNITE Showcase and over 100 people attended the event. Click on the link below to view all the visual art entries.


Watch the IGNITE Showcase on New Bedford Cable Network

The City of New Bedford’s Art & Culture Show hosted by AHA! Featured the IGNITE Showcase as one of the three programs from the March 12, 2020 AHA! Night. See artwork and interviews with some of the IGNITE artists in the second segment starting at about 5 minutes and 50 seconds in. NB Arts and Culture Show March 2020


Add Your Artwork to the Re-IGNITE Showcase

Young artists: You are invited to create an original piece of art inspired by a Lighting the Way woman for display in a growing digital showcase. For details on how to enter, please go to: https://educators.whalingmuseum.org/re-ignite.html


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