Hoarding the glory: Law students show their artistic side

A call by the Osgoode Community Enhancement Forum (OCEF) for student artists to help beautify the interior construction hoarding in the law school building has resulted in the selection of artwork by three talented juris doctor (JD) students. 

The forum is composed of Osgoode Hall Law School students, faculty and staff, and plans community relations projects and events for the law school community. The winning artists, Jeffrey Martin, Fatema Tokhy and Asad Ali Moten, will have their artwork displayed on the hoarding that encloses the construction project. 

Above: From left, hoarding artists Jeffrey Martin, Fatema Tokhy and Asad Ali Moten

Martin, a first-year JD student, titled his hoarded work The Future of Justice. The acrylic painting features mirrored inserts. “I came up with the idea for The Future of Justice while sitting in Professor Bruce Ryder’s State & Citizen class. We were discussing the judiciary and it just went from there,” says Martin. “I hope that people will react with the sense that as members of the legal profession, the future of justice is in their hands. I hope that this piece inspires students at Osgoode to be justice minded.”

Left: Jeffrey Martin with his hoarded creation titled The Future of Justice, a work that was created to inspire students to be justice minded

Tokhy is enrolled in her second year of the JD program. She titled her work Democracy. The papier mâché and acrylic work also originated during one of her classes. “I came up with the idea when I was in Professor Brian Slattery’s class. He discussed the living doctrine so vividly where the initial image formed in my head at the time is now mirrored on the wall,” says Tokhy. “I want people to really examine the details put in and, by doing so, think about what I am trying to convey. Every single aspect of the artwork has a meaning – the black background is to symbolize ignorance where democracy and growth counter that. The shades of the leaves symbolize the complexities of legal reasoning and so forth.”

Right: Tokhy poses with Democracy. Every aspect of its composition has meaning for her.

“The idea wasn’t completely mine. I knew I wanted to, in some creative fashion, get the Universal Declaration of Human Rights up on the wall, but I was grappling with how to do so," says Moten, a first-year JD student. Over a span of a month, Moten had long talks with friends, and the result is Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which he created using acrylic paint and Sharpie paint markers. “I hope that as people walk through the front doors, they see the Declaration staring back at them, reminding them of the principles that they must uphold as legal professionals.”

Left: Moten’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights was created to remind Osgoode students of the importance of the principles they must uphold as legal professionals

The renovation and expansion of Osgoode’s 41-year-old building, which is expected to take about two years, commenced this summer. For more on the renovation and expansion project, visit the Building Osgoode Web site.

The OCEF’s next community relations project is a student photo contest, with the winning photos to be displayed on the hoarding. For more information about the photo contest, contact OCEF@osgoode.yorku.ca.