Posters celebrate Black History Month

Ashley Bryan poster by Sophie Joyce.

BAR HARBOR — College of the Atlantic (COA) students have released posters featuring original artwork to honor Black History Month, which is celebrated in February. 

COA Arts & Design professor Dru Colbert has a background in creating educational artwork for local museums. She teaches a communication design class at COA, where she assigns students different art projects that tell stories. 

Colbert’s class annually creates “awareness posters” as a service to different local organizations. Over the years, students have created posters for Healthy Acadia, Down East Aids Organization, Friends of Acadia and many more. 

“You name the organization, we’ve probably done it,” Colbert said. 

Colbert’s class last year came up with an idea to create a project that celebrates Black history in Maine. Each poster bears a visual of a renowned Black individual, group or place with ties to Maine, a brief description and a tagline that reads, “Black history is Maine history.” 

The 15 posters were designed by the students using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop computer design software.  

“We’ve got Aquarius Funkk, who is a Black, queer performance artist, and John Jenkins, who was the mayor of Lewiston and Auburn and Maine’s first Black senator,” Colbert said.  

Other posters include artist and author Ashley Bryan, Lewiston City Council member Safiya Khalid, Black mariners and the inhabitants of Malaga Island.  

Schools and libraries can access the posters, which are offered free to institutions around Maine.  

“Black History Month extends beyond the month of February and these posters are just a great way to honor it – the wider they are distributed, the better,” Colbert said.  

The artwork can be viewed at 

Email Colbert at [email protected] with questions about the posters or for assistance crafting a learning activity around the posters. 

Ninah Rein

Ninah Rein

Writer at Mount Desert Islander
Ninah Rein, an MDI native, covers news and features in the Bar Harbor area. She is glad to be back in Maine after earning a bachelor's degree in San Diego from the University of California.
Ninah Rein

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