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

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