Artist Micro-commissions – Gallery

To support local artists and designers during COVID-19, the Askwith Kenner Global Languages and Cultures Room created the Micro-Commissions Project. We invited eight CMU students and local Pittsburgh artists to create artworks to be displayed within the room and on a new digital projection installation on the glass wall near the front of the room. Artists were inspired by our themes of language, culture, identity, and personal stories. Each artist had the freedom to choose any medium.

Please enjoy the artwork and designs from the eight wonderful artists. Click on the link below each artwork to learn about the artists’ inspirations and thoughts behind each piece,

1) “Reflections” by Langston Wells

2) “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” by Jennifer Shin

3) “The Fruits of our Culture” by Nancy Zuo

4) “Opening the Door of Opportunity” by Alyssa Song

5) “As I Search for the Word” by Daniel Noh

6) “Idioms Around The World” by Jubbies

7) “The Korean-American Dictionary” by Eileen Lee

8) “Working Together, Apart” by Sanna

We would like to thank all of the artists for creating these beautiful pieces of artwork! We look forward to displaying them in the Kenner room.

Artist Micro-commissions – “Working Together, Apart” by Sanna

To support local artists and designers during COVID-19, the Askwith Kenner Global Languages and Cultures Room created the Micro-Commissions Project. We invited eight CMU students and local Pittsburgh artists to create artworks to be displayed within the room and on a new digital projection installation on the glass wall near the front of the room. Artists were inspired by our themes of language, culture, identity, and personal stories. Each artist had the freedom to choose any medium.


“Working Together, Apart” by Sanna Legan

Today, we would like to introduce “Working Together, Apart” by Sanna Legan. Sanna was inspired by her life in quarantine.

“Being in quarantine, it is very easy to feel isolated. However, I wanted to remember the very reason I love CMU. Being able to connect and meet people from all around the world, as passionate as I am.”

Sanna’s artworked was created in Adobe Photoshop.

“This piece is about how Carnegie Mellon is a hub for passion, knowledge, and learning. To create this work I put out a call for CMU students to submit a picture of themselves doing what they were passionate about. CMU is a unique place, where students from all different fields and interests are put together. I got submissions of people singing, swimming, studying, talking, drawing, play instruments, snowboarding, and more. This is what connects us. Being able to share our creations.”

About the Artist

You can find more of Sanna’s work on Instagram: @sannalegan and on her Website/Portfolio: www.sannalegan.com

Artist Micro-commissions – “The Korean-American Dictionary” by Eileen

To support local artists and designers during COVID-19, the Askwith Kenner Global Languages and Cultures Room created the Micro-Commissions Project. We invited eight CMU students and local Pittsburgh artists to create artworks to be displayed within the room and on a new digital projection installation on the glass wall near the front of the room. Artists were inspired by our themes of language, culture, identity, and personal stories. Each artist had the freedom to choose any medium.


“The Korean-American Dictionary” by Eileen Lee

Today we would like to showcase “The Korean-American Dictionary” by Eileen Lee. Eileen was inspired by Bilingualism and Asian-American identity.

Eileen’s artwork was created using Procreate.

“As an Asian-American living and growing up in the United States, I learned and used the Korean and English language interchangeably. I wanted to highlight specific vocabulary that I found was important to learn in order to describe my identity and sometimes my guilt in forgetting my native language. At the same time, I also wanted to show the free-flowing thoughts and connections as a result of bilingualism.”

About the Artist

You can find more of Eileen’s work on IG: @eileen_loves_cheesecake and on her portfolio website: https://www.eileenlee.me/

Artist Micro-commissions – “Idioms Around The World” by Jubbies

To support local artists and designers during COVID-19, the Askwith Kenner Global Languages and Cultures Room created the Micro-Commissions Project. We invited eight CMU students and local Pittsburgh artists to create artworks to be displayed within the room and on a new digital projection installation on the glass wall near the front of the room. Artists were inspired by our themes of language, culture, identity, and personal stories. Each artist had the freedom to choose any medium.


“Idioms Around The World” by Jubbies

Today, we would like to introduce “Idioms Around The World” by Jubbies. Jubbies was inspired by her mother who is a German immigrant and English as a Second Language teacher.

“I love when she is passionately exclaiming about something and a phrase slips her lips in English that I cannot make sense of. After some investigation, it quickly becomes clear that the phrase is a literally translated colloquialism or idiom from her native language. Even if her translation of the idiom is grammatically perfect, since I do not know the cultural references, they mean nothing to me until she explains them. These moments always remind me that language is so much more than utilitarian, but it actually can embody complex, poetic, beautiful, and culturally specific interpretations of the world. The more I learn about language, the more I appreciate it in itself as a powerful tool that allows its users to travel time and space and to tell beautiful stories of its history.”

Jubbies’ video was made in Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and AfterEffects.

Jubbies further expressed, “Our cultural, familial, and personal experiences mold the way we make sense of the world. We observe and analyze our surroundings using the cultural reference points we have been exposed to. In sharing and discussing our different perspectives of the world, you can expand your reference points and therefore your toolbox in problem-solving. I believe idioms are a fantastic entry point into specific cultural viewpoints because they inherently rely on culturally specific experiences, they are short, and generally amusing. We might take for granted the stories that idioms encapsulate, but once we realize how insightful they can be, we can start to see how intertwined culture and language are and ultimately how language is so much more than a one-dimensional utility. More than this, by sharing how something as mundane as an idiom can be so insightful, I hope to spark curiosity in viewers, encouraging them to think about what other common things hold immense cultural value.”

About the Artist

You can find more of Jubbies work on her art Instagram: @jubbies_art ; personal Instagram: @jubbies_ ; and portfolio website: www.jubbies.net

Message from the Artist:

“I would love to hear about idioms from other languages that have a parallel or contradicting idiom in another language and what that has taught them about the culture they are from. If anybody wants to share one they think of, they can email me at juliasteinwe@andrew.cmu.edu.”

Artist Micro-commissions – “As I Search for the Word” by Daniel

To support local artists and designers during COVID-19, the Askwith Kenner Global Languages and Cultures Room created the Micro-Commissions Project. We invited eight CMU students and local Pittsburgh artists to create artworks to be displayed within the room and on a new digital projection installation on the glass wall near the front of the room. Artists were inspired by our themes of language, culture, identity, and personal stories. Each artist had the freedom to choose any medium.


“As I Search for the Word” by Daniel Noh

Today, we would like to introduce “As I Search for the Word” by Daniel Noh. Daniel was initially inspired by a moment when he was talking to a friend in Korean about animals.

“I was attempting to recall the Korean word for “bat” and the feeling of the characters appearing one by one in my head (ㅂ…ㅏ…ㄱ… ㅈ…ㅣ) was such a memorable and fascinating feeling. Moreover, I find language to be intriguing because it can be both a barrier and a tool for connecting. Recently I reached out to a Korean-American friend who was having a tough time communicating to her parents about racism and the Black Lives Matter movement. I sent her information and sources on different vocabulary as well as different events that could help the parents better empathize with the situation. I strongly believe that being bilingual helps me connect my familial culture to my social culture.”

Daniel’s artwork is was created using Procreate.

Daniel also described his experience living in the U.S. and speaking two languages, “As a bilingual person whose native tongue is Korean, but more fluent in English, I often find myself searching through words and visual queues to translate certain phrases. The drawing illustrates the moment of illumination I have when the word appears, sometimes character by character, in my mind. The words the person is connecting in the drawing are person and 인, which also means a person; this reflects the notion that language is something that helps connect ‘people to people’.”

About the Artist

You can find more of Daniel’s work on Instagram @dan_noh and nohdaniel.com

Artist Micro-commissions – “Opening the Door of Opportunity” by Alyssa Song

To support local artists and designers during COVID-19, the Askwith Kenner Global Languages and Cultures Room created the Micro-Commissions Project. We invited eight CMU students and local Pittsburgh artists to create artworks to be displayed within the room and on a new digital projection installation on the glass wall near the front of the room. Artists were inspired by our themes of language, culture, identity, and personal stories. Each artist had the freedom to choose any medium.


“Opening the Door of Opportunity” by Alyssa Song

Today, we would like to introduce “Opening the Door of Opportunity” by Alyssa Song,

Alyssa’s artwork is was created using Procreate.

“No one expected 2020 to be like this. We spent months quarantined in our homes, and watched one of the world’s largest social justice movements unfold on social media. During this tumultuous time, technology has “opened the door of opportunity” to revolutionize the way we communicate, collaborate, and understand each other. Technology has been an impetus for the world to participate in tough conversations and to recognize the faults in our system.”

About the Artist

You can find more of Alyssa’s work on instagram: @alyssasong_ and @alyssasketchs and on her website: alyssasong.com

Artist Micro-commissions – “The Fruits of our Culture” by Nancy

To support local artists and designers during COVID-19, the Askwith Kenner Global Languages and Cultures Room created the Micro-Commissions Project. We invited eight CMU students and local Pittsburgh artists to create artworks to be displayed within the room and on a new digital projection installation on the glass wall near the front of the room. Artists were inspired by our themes of language, culture, identity, and personal stories. Each artist had the freedom to choose any medium.


“The Fruits of our Culture” by Nancy Zuo

Today, we would like to introduce “The Fruits of our Culture” by Nancy Zuo. Nancy was inspired by her mom’s backyard, “We have dozens of different types of fruit trees and my mom’s biggest hobby is gardening. Recently, my mom got into cross-breeding dragonfruit plants and I thought this would be a good metaphor to how cultures blend together.”

Nancy’s artwork is was created using Procreate.

“Inspired by my backyard, I decided to represent culture as a field of different fruit trees. Like fruit trees, culture can easily be cross bred (American-born Chinese, Korea, Japanese, etc) and grows over time. These cultures are rooted with the same values that extend deep into time. Like describing the taste of a fruit, it may be hard to understand the culture of another country until one immerses themself in it. The shadows behind the lamp symbolize Plato’s allegory of the cave, and VR represents the ability to branch out and explore other cultures without falling at the trap of society’s perception of racism.”

About the Artist

You can find more of Nancy’s works on youtube.com/littlecicistar

Artist Micro-commissions – “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” by Jennifer


To support local artists and designers during COVID-19, the Askwith Kenner Global Languages and Cultures Room created the Micro-Commissions Project. We invited eight CMU students and local Pittsburgh artists to create artworks to be displayed within the room and on a new digital projection installation on the glass wall near the front of the room. Artists were inspired by our themes of language, culture, identity, and personal stories. Each artist had the freedom to choose any medium.

“How to Tame a Wild Tongue” by Jennifer Shin

Today, we would like to introduce “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” by Jennifer Shin.” This is a manifestation of her bilingual experience. “As a bilingual, I go through translation and hindrance whenever I speak my second language. Being overly wary and insecure of the accents or code-switching, I constantly have to re-establish my linguistic identity in this country. In that struggle, I was particularly inspired by the unapologetic kinship with languages and identity that Gloria Anzaldúa advocates in her essay, “How to tame a wild tongue.” This drawing is a process of resolving the relationship between insecure identity and language.”
Jennifer’s artwork is a graphite drawing on Stonehenge paper
“Similar to my experience with language, the drawing has been translated through different medium. I used found images from 1990s American woodwork magazine and study abroad brochures to create a photo collage, which was then transferred into a graphite drawing. Borrowing the title from Anzaldúa’s essay, I examine what it is to be bilingual and insecure.”

About the Artist

You can find more of Jennifer’s work on Instagram @Downy__22 and Jennifershinart.com

Artist Micro-commissions – “Reflections” by Langston


To support local artists and designers during COVID-19, the Askwith Kenner Global Languages and Cultures Room created the Micro-Commissions Project. We invited eight CMU students and local Pittsburgh artists to create artworks to be displayed within the room and on a new digital projection installation on the glass wall near the front of the room. Artists were inspired by our themes of language, culture, identity, and personal stories. Each artist had the freedom to choose any medium.

“Reflections” by Langston Wells.

To start this series, we would like to introduce “Reflections” by Langston Wells. Langston was inspired by “… recent and past conversations with friends of mine from different cultural upbringings.”
Before coming to CMU, I had very little exposure to different cultures, backgrounds, traditions, and languages. Upon arrival I realized just how rich and beautiful the languages and cultures of my new college friends are, but also the emotional and mental struggles that accompany leaving or re-entering a culture that one hasn’t been part of for so long, especially when one hasn’t been raised to know the language of their ancestry. For my project, I’m create a series of illustrations that details small stories compiled through interviews with my friends that come from varied and unique cultural backgrounds around this topic of culture, upbringing, and language.”
“The goal is to offer solidarity to students and visitors through pieces that celebrate the beautiful (and sometimes not-so-beautiful) overlap of culture, upbringing, and language, to show that they are not alone in their feelings and thoughts and so that they can feel comfortable discussing these own issues with their own friends, families, and co-workers.”
Langston’s digital artworks were created in Illustrator and After Effects, following hand drawn sketches.

About the Artist

You can find more of Langston’s work at alliswells.co

Global Languages & Cultures Room – Artist Micro-commissions – Launching our series.


To support local artists and designers during COVID-19, the Askwith Kenner Global Languages and Cultures Room created the Micro-Commissions project. We invited eight talented CMU students and local Pittsburgh artists to create artworks to be displayed within the room and on a new digital projection installation on the glass wall near the front of the room. Artists were inspired by our themes of language, culture, identity, and personal stories. Each artist had the freedom to choose any medium.
In this series, we should like to introduce each of the eight artworks and the amazing artists behind them on our blog and social media. Our series will start this Wednesday, July 15th.  Stay tuned to see all 8 artworks and meet the wonderful artists behind each piece!
Throughout the series we invite you to comment and share the work in your feeds and channels, to help us to spread our message and help to introduce new people to our work. We’ll be using #KennerKreatives and #GlobalLanguages&CulturesRoom hashtags, so keep a look out for new work coming soon.