Sarasota, Florida -- Super-sized public art with a message of diversity. You'll find it in Downtown Sarasota's Island Park along Sarasota Bay.
The "Embracing Our Differences" art exhibit has attracted more than 2 million visitors since it started 13 years ago.
Sarasota's Island Park is turned into an art gallery during April and May filled with 45 billboard-sized works of art. They all with have one common message “Embracing Our Differences."
"They're unlocking all fear, hatred and prejudice,” says Dillon Ramos, an eighth-grader at McIntosh Middle School.
The outdoor exhibit is a classroom for us all. Today students teach students. Riverview High School senior Shelby Fultz, is a docent leading a class from McIntosh Middle.
"Our first picture is this one 'Ability to Change,' " Fultz tells the middle school students.
The kids connect to the winner in the student category by a Sarasota 10th-grader.
Fultz asks the group of students, "What do we see in this picture?”
“Seems like person in blue is taking out the hatred. The blue person is surprised there is so much hatred how stuck it is in the person's head,” responds Jared Osterowe, an eighth-grader at McIntosh Middle School.
Each artwork comes with an inspirational quote. Josslyn Oran wrote the Best in Show for the “Perpetual Motion” billboard.
“Night and day are exact opposites but they come together to make a beautiful sunset.”
“Different races and cultures can come together to make something beautiful,” explains Oran, sixth-grader at McIntosh Middle School.
The art covers bullying, self-image, sexuality and homelessness.
Students hope visitors walk away having changed even in just small way.
Oran says, "I want them to inspire others to be nice"
"I hope they are encouraged to always be kind to each other…simple thing like saying something nice to someone. It's those little things that change the world,” says Fultz.
The "Embracing Our Differences" exhibit is free and will be up through the end of May. This year there were more 8-thousand entries from 104 countries and 44 states.