To Be, Rather Than to Seem

Artwork Selected for Display at Tampa Museum of Art

Congratulations to seniors Alissa P. and Maria G.! Their artwork was selected for inclusion in the 14th Congressional District and Next Generation High School Art Competition and will be displayed at the Tampa Museum of Art through April 4th. Over 70 submissions from nearly 20 high schools were received.

Alissa's Artwork “We Are So Different, Yet the Same”

Alissa's graphite pencil drawing “We Are So Different, Yet the Same” represents differing economic statuses. She writes, "Have you ever wondered why financial statuses have become the leading label of individuals within society? Finances provide for everyday essentials, yet they separate individuals. However, many similarities can be found between the two groups. The Monopoly game pieces were arranged to represent a narrative of the disparities between individuals of different economic statuses. The top hat represents the wealthy and the sneaker represents the less fortunate. The two dice show challenges each class encounters and the pair of sixes recognize both groups’ shared experiences. My piece conveys that economic statuses are different for all, but don’t define an individual."

Maria's Artwork "Violeta"

Maria writes about her piece titled Violeta: “My expressive intent in this acrylic painting was to convey the contrasting elements of my American and Filipino heritage. Throughout most of my life I have been unable to explore the traditions carried by the Filipino culture due to growing up in the States. The purpose of this piece was to reveal those values and compare them to what I have learned growing up. I explored various elements such as shape, value and color in order to reveal principles of emphasis and contrast. The colors remain dull and of warmer tones in order to invoke a sense of seriousness. The woman depicted is my grandmother, Violeta Galvez, whom the piece is titled after. She is accompanied by two birds, a bald eagle and a Philippine Eagle. These two are bonded by a chain which wraps around my grandmother, representing the connection my two heritages hold. She also wears a key around her neck, symbolizing that I have the choice to break free of either culture, yet I choose to keep them close to me. A vine is seen growing from the bottom of the composition showing the stages of growth of the Jasmine flower, the Philippines’ national flower. This conveys that there is still much to learn from my cultures, and I personally have much growth to explore. A very important artist reference of mine in creating this work was Frida Kahlo. I was captivated by her use of symbolism to convey her expressive intent and how perfectly executed her pieces seemed to appear. Overall, I wanted to explore my cultural identity and the root of both cultures through art. I took that knowledge and expressed it through symbolism and the various principles of painting.”

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