Colm Toίbίn
Irene and Sidney B. Silverman Professor of the Humanities
Columbia University Department of English and Comparative Literature

"Art seeks out an autonomous space. Now, more than ever, we are in need of autonomous space. Thus the image made, the dance movements worked out, the film shot, the words written on the page, the photograph taken, the painting created, are metaphors for our right in the wider world to imagine and make, metaphors for our own will, for our own freedom, for our own vulnerability; they are signs too of our own autonomy, our own power."

Nina Berman
Associate Professor Photojournalism
Graduate School of Journalism

"Outrage, defiance, insistence, regret, loneliness, betrayal, forgiveness, resilience, shame, justice and above all an urgency to be heard: these are some of the emotions and themes articulated by the brave artists who delved deep to make work for this collection."

Victor LaValle
Assistant Professor of Professional Practice in Writing in the Faculty of the Arts
Columbia University School of the Arts

"How do you create a healthy community? You don’t simply go to and from class, passing one another without more than a nod. Instead you share the hardships, the fears, and also the triumphs and strengths that come from having weathered the worst. The entries in the Art Option seem like an encouraging step in this journey. Here is your community. Know them and let them know you."

Adam Bandler
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and Exhibition Coordinator
Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation

"The Arts Option stands out not because it produces excellent works of art (and it does produce some exquisite projects) but because it gives a student the chance to re-frame the very questions being raised."

Pamela Shifman and Anna Quinn
NoVo Foundation

"Against a broader social context of injustice, creating and sharing artwork is a bold political act and a gift from the artists to their community."

Deborah Cullen
Director & Chief Curator
The Wallach Art Gallery

"By instigating a kaleidoscope of works, including spoken word and poetry, songs both abstract and lyrical, dance responses, short plays, photography, drawing, painting, comic books, and other artistic forms, the issues—far from being exhausted—can be more fully considered, discussed, and hopefully, one day, obliterated."