“Mental health challenges can be crushing. And the only way out is to get yourself out of that deep, dark hole and rise above it. This work portrays what teenagers need in order to make that step. They need to be able to see that light and that there is a better place after they overcome darkness. If they don’t see the point of persevering against their troubles, they can’t muster the courage to even reach the surface. Thus, the light shining down on this girl surrounded by darkness shows the importance of hope in a person’s world.”
“In my painting, I wanted to represent hope in a community. The community is represented through warm colors. This gives the idea of a warm and welcoming community. These people are happy and willing to help others in need. Then we have someone who suffers from mental health issues. They are represented with cool colors. The idea behind this is that the darkness surrounds the person to the point where it feels suffocating. I wanted to represent mental health issues in this way because if a person doesn’t reach out for help, whether it’s in a community or just a singular person, one can struggle so much to the point where it feels like they are trapped in the darkness.”
“Plastic is a material widely recognized as a danger to our Earth, and yet, as the Pandemic took over, plastic entwined itself into every new norm in our lives quickly becoming the very material we would communicate through. Digital media removed our masks, a safe space behind a screen, showing us our voices cannot be stifled. Not now. Basic human rights have been ignored, and trampled upon, in crises. Access. Access to medicine, vaccines, equity, equality. Much like the plastics churning in the ocean, issues rose to the surface, swollen from pain, and humans chose to speak up. We stepped away from our screens and into the streets and we marched. We marched for our lives, for our rights, for love, and for equity. A new sun, toxic rays of light begging for attention. We cannot forget what we have gone through for change to happen. This virus, touches everyone, everything. Six feet apart. They stand, masked, determined, and even when they crumble, they won’t stop. They will never go away. Plastic.”
“I wanted to focus on LGBT acceptance, especially for people in families of color. I found that it’s more unlikely for people of color to accept the LGBTQ community, and their members of their family who might happen to be in it. In a perfect world, children would be accepted by their parents no matter their orientation or identity. Supportive families are the first step to acceptance in the greater world.”
In this artwork, I aspire to instill a feeling of hope; as although the figure is presented with limited categories to force themself into, they still chose to be themself. I dually aim that this instills hope amongst those who have been faced with a similar scenario, who feel alone in their struggles. I hope those who do not struggle with such issues feel a call to action—to emotionally support those struggling and help the reform of gender & gender norms within our society.
My entry depicts a group of women known as the “Harvard Computers” who worked at the Harvard Observatory for a man named Edward Charles Pickering. In 1877, Pickering became the director of the Harvard Observatory during a time of great technological advancement, increasing the prevalence of photography, and subsequently the astrological data available to interpret. Pickering, in what appeared to be a progressive maneuver, employed his female staff to work examine, catalogue, and observe the data presented, however, the decision loses appeal when you take into account the workload of these women, their 25 to 50 cent wages, and their capacity to achieve greatness. Despite this, the women made significant contributions to the field of astronomy, especially Henrietta Swan Leavitt (pictured in the front) who discovered the period-luminosity relationship for Cepheid variables, a contribution that helped shape future astronomical discoveries. Henrietta and the many other talented “computers” performed incredibly important work, however, they received little to no recognition for their contributions.
My artwork shows a group of Asians protesting to get justice for them, you can see in the middle picture I have a picture frame of a woman, she is Michelle Go, a victim of racism, as well as anti-Asian hatred, she has pushed down the tracks of the New York subway. I drew her because I want to reclaim justice for her in general and Asians in particular, Ms. Michelle Go’s incident has been a wake-up call because Asian Hate Crime has gone too far. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Asian racism has also become more frequent, some people call our community the cause of the pandemic, and they also make derogatory comments, and said that we should return to our country
This idea goes way back to when I was in a bad state of mind. I was not in a good position to do anything because of my mentality. Everything felt like it was crumbling and then one day I bumped into a family member watching the news. As I looked up at the television I saw this news report of a person being stopped and helped my multiple people. A picture of this event is what I used as a reference for my painting because after seeing all of those people help one person reminded me and still keeps reminding me that there are people out there to help me when I am at my worst.
My entry is about the recent overturning of Roe V. Wade. On the canvas, there is a television playing a news coverage of a protest fighting against the overturning. The people protesting look upset and are all holding signs with pro-choice designs. There is a woman intently watching the screen looking slightly unkempt with bandages. This ties into the theme of justice I was going for, where even if you are not able to personally be there, you can still watch others fight for the same cause. With a constant barrage of bad news in today’s media, it’s easier to feel desensitized and pretend like it doesn’t affect you. A lot of people don’t understand the repercussions of such a case being overturned or who it affects. Even if Roe V. Wade being reversed doesn’t affect you, it can harm the people around you and takes away women’s rights to make healthcare decisions for themselves. You never know when something like this could affect family or friends—it hurts everybody. Understandably, there are a lot of circumstances that would prevent someone from being able to fight for themself. The good thing about this world is that there are still people willingly putting themselves out there despite all odds to fight for everybody, both for you and me. I felt like a protest was a great example of this message.
This story brings me back to elementary school. With all the discussion about how teachers are being treated by parents and administrators, I wanted to try and see the perspective of a school environment as a teacher and what struggles they face. I have had a love for learning since kindergarten and that would have never been the case if I didn’t have teachers guiding me and nurturing that appreciation. I’ve created this piece to give hope to the future of education and teaching.