These 3 Grand Prize Winners Will Each Receive $500 For Themselves & An Additional $500 For Their Chosen Nonprofits
Ivana De Armas
Ivana De Armas
Nonprofit: Survival International
I often ask myself that question, what sets me apart from others. The thought is each one of us is unique; that is the beauty of life. The way you see things, situations ,or even beauty is different for each one of us. We all have our inner world. Some of us only get to spend a few minutes a day in it, while others manage to live in it most of the time. Even with all the influences, experiences in life, with all those layers we must start with the roots and where we come from, culture, and traditions. I was born in Serbia, a country with a strong homogenous culture and deeply rooted traditions. When I was 23, I immigrated to America which is a multicultural country, and that was the beginning of understanding different cultures and approaches to life in general. Was it hard, hell yes. I am trying to focus on how to maximize gains while minimizing losses. Adapting to change and trying to learn as much as possible. In high school and college, where I studied art I learned the rules, but it was the time to learn how to break them. I chose the modern perceptual approach to art. What empresses me are those communities of people, those places of rituals, fashion, deep culture, and colors. Those unique, fashionable, inspiring people are truly living art. Also for many years, the human race has had an inner desire for tribalism. The loyalty, protection, and friendship we find in the people we choose to surround ourselves with are important. Not only do they determine who we are as individuals, but also how we view and treat the world around us. In the modern world, we become disconnected from our tribe, and without one we can feel spiritually disconnected. Individualism is becoming a pandemic of this century. What if our quest for individualism is actually making us miserable? We live in a world of a period, information and knowledge are easily accessible and fast, but human connection is not. It takes time and patience. There is no filter, right angle, or influencer if you will, that teaches us that. I would love it if my paintings inspired people to connect more deeply with their tribe and to stay honest and unique about what their nature is.
Piece: The Things She Carried by Suomo Snook. 14x14" Acrylic on Canvas. My mission with this piece was to heal myself. Too often in life we are taught to make our emotions small, to suppress them, especially as Black women. I just want people to feel something when they look at my art. When emotions are too big to say, my paint brush is the tool through which I find my healing. This piece explore eye contact: Eye contact from girls who have had to make it in order to be treated fairly, from women who have had to avoid it in order to survive, and from people forced to use it in order to be considered human. With the intention of elucidating the hidden emotions Femmes of color have but cannot express, my work attempts to capture what racism, white supremacy and patriarchy have done to us. They've forced us inside, but they cannot hide us. They have us looking over our shoulder, but they will not break us. We choose what to express. We choose what to keep to ourselves. Indeed, I want this piece to show that in spite all odds, we choose to be who we are. I’m always trying my best to honor the soul and the emotion of each piece I create. I believe that’s where you find my art – through the emotion that I capture. As I create, I love the subjects in the way that I need to be loved. I sed them the way I need to be seen. And through this, their light shines. My practice isn’t just about putting paint on canvas. It’s about something deeper – my practice is spiritual and it involves capturing the soul and giving it life. Each painting I create is an extension of myself and the pain that I’ve felt. During the pandemic, I saw violence done to Black and Brown bodies all over the news, on my social media and in my life everyday. Sometimes paint was the only medicine that I had to access my own healing. It was the only thing I could do where I felt like I meant something. When there are no words to describe what you’re feeling, and those feelings are so big that they need to come out, these paintings can say it better than I can. In every painting I make, my subjects say it all. My mission as an artist is an extension of my healing to the world - I want my work to heal souls who have emotions they cannot express. I want my art to elucidate feelings and awaken people to the injustices of the world. And most importantly, I want to love people through my art, just as I've learned to love myself.
The Egungun festival is a yoruban masquerade event connecting ancestors to the living. It's specific to Lagos, Nigeria. Being of Nigerian descent, it was intriguing to learn about the customs since I have never experienced the intricacies of yoruban festivals. Most history focuses on either American history and European history in high schools which excludes BIPOC from knowing their history. I want to create art that showcases lifestyles and cultures of Africa has so that other people can connect with it.
These 3 Runners Up Will Each Receive A $100 AFYC Gift Card
Nonprofit: The BIPOC Project
Hello! I am a graduate student studying illustration at SCAD. A few months ago, as we all knew that there was a shooting case against Asian women in Atlanta. I was very sad when I saw this news, but the teachers and classmates around me gave me a great support and love. This year because of the new crown epidemic, many Asian Americans have been treated unfairly. I am also an Asian woman, so I hope I am use my art to support the Stop Asian Hate movement. In this painting, I draw a crying robot Asian woman. On this woman, you can see that there are many labels, which symbolizes that people always objectify women casually. I also put on a mask for this woman, symbolizing that we are now in a difficult period of the new crown epidemic.
Enjoy Freedom- Remember Slavery, aim is to remind us that we should keep one eye in the present, one eye on the past and both eyes on the future. We must be actively practice our rights to keep the freedom that we have earned (Not Given). This piece in the other pieces are to bring awareness.
My piece is entitled; "You should see me in a crown" it shows black women with their natural hair in black hairstyles. For a long time women of color have fought for the right to express their true identities through their natural and have rebelled against the oppression of straight, chemicalized, heat damage hair and the toxic society that deemed black hair "unprofessional". This piece shows that black hair is beautiful, elegant and powerful.