Making A Ripple Through Art

Sophomore Olivia Overlease won the Seven Days Art Contest with her piece representing the theme of onward.


Submitted by Olivia Overlease

Sophomore Olivia Overlease attended the art showcase for the winning students of the Seven Days Art Contest at the Plaza Library Feb. 26. Overlease is the fourth person from the right.

Maleah Downton, Editorial Editor

The day was a normal day; school in the day, babysitting in the afternoon. It was business as usual. However, that changed when sophomore Olivia Overlease decided to check her email. Upon opening the email, Overlease discovered she won the Seven Days Art Contest.

“I got so excited,” Overlease said. “After reading the email I immediately forwarded it to my mom.”

The Seven Days Art Contest is an annual competition sponsored by the Faith Always Wins Foundation, the LaManno-Hastings Family Foundation and other organizations. The competition is held to select artwork to represent their themes for each day during their Seven Days: Make A Ripple, Change the World Event April 9-15. Overlease’s artwork received the award and will be featured on day seven of the event, April 15, representing the theme of onward.

“Her piece that was chosen is vibrant, colorful and positive,” Theology Curriculum Coordinator Jessica Hull said.

The Seven Days organization was founded in response to shootings at the Jewish Community Campus and Village Shalom in Overland Park on April 13, 2014. Founder Mindy Corporon’s father and son, William Corporon and Reat Griffin Underwood, and Jim LaManno’s wife, Terri LaManno, were all killed in the incident by a white supremacist. From that tragedy, the organization’s goal is to “engage all people to discover commonalities and overcome evil with acts of kindness,” according to their mission statement.


“I think there is a wonderful overlap in Sion’s mission and Seven Days’ mission,” Hull said. “Sion’s mission is to embrace people of all faiths and to honor the life and dignity of each person, Seven Days does just that with their activities centered around embracing people of all faiths as well as looking at other wonderful ways that we have diversity in our community.”

Overlease’s piece depicts a silhouette of a woman posed fiercely with her fist raised in front of a sunset. Overlease gathered inspiration from the idea of a war cry. Basing off the symbolism of a war cry, she envisioned her piece to represent empowerment and determination.

“Onward is perseverance,” Overlease said. “Despite all of the hardship and struggle that is in everybody’s lives, just having the perseverance to go on and keep making good choices is pretty powerful.”

When it comes to art, Overlease said the thing she loves most is the versatility. Her artwork extends beyond the typical pencil and paper. Overlease said she spends a great amount of time creating art on her laptop through Photoshop.

Submitted by Olivia Overlease
Sophomore Olivia Overlease created this piece to represent the Seven Days: Make A Ripple, Change the World Event’s theme of onward. This artwork won the Seven Days Art Contest.

“It’s kind of cool to see all of the different ways that you can come to an end product,” Overlease said. “It’s not all just hand drawing. Stamping stuff and imprinting is another interesting method of art that I enjoy.”

Overlease first became aware of this contest within her first semester Catholic Social Teachings class. Overlease said she credits her teacher, Hull, and her peers for encouraging her to submit her work. As a class assignment, students composed artwork for each of the themes for the event. The class then voted on their favorites and Overlease was strongly encouraged to enter her work into the competition.

“Many of Olivia’s classmates had identified Olivia’s art as some of their favorite designs in response to the art competition, so I encouraged her to look at the website,” Hull said. “It was really fun to see Seven Days recognize her artwork as powerful as well.”

To celebrate the winners, the Faith Always Wins Foundation hosted an art showcase to recognize the work of the winning students. The showcase took place at the Plaza Library. Upon arrival, Overlease discovered that her close friend, sophomore Grace Hill, came to the event to offer her support.

“I thought it would be fun to support her and congratulate her by going to the reception,” Hill said. “We’ve been friends since kindergarten, I’m just so excited for her.”

Sophomore Olivia Overlease’s interview with Seven Days regarding her winning artwork “onward.”