I am going to be okay
Honorable Mention Fine Arts: The piece is an oil painted self portrait with digital edits. The painting is made in the structure of a classic polaroid picture that represents a snapshot of something anyone would see. The painting states “I am going to be okay” which is what the eye is drawn to, but if you look closely, written in the background blended in, represents the emotions underneath the surface. “I am” pertains to the other emotions that are hidden in the paint. Emotions are hidden underneath the surface of a simple snapshot of a person and yet the emotions are
what I am.
Discovering Who I Am
Honorable Mention Fine Art: I am a lot of things. I am complicated. Sometimes I don't know what I am or who I am but that's part of growing up and finding my
place in the world. This is a self-portrait where I'm reflecting and figuring out who I am. This is me discovering who I am.
I am my art
Category Winner Fine Art: I am the art that I create. In this piece I had to reflect on what mattered to me and who I was. I created this piece for my first college art class. Which had been in a way cut short due to covid. I had lost the feeling of where I was meant to be. When I went to my art class I felt at home, like I was where I was meant to be. This piece made me realize that it was the art that I created is what made me feel like I was where I was meant to be. I am my art. I am the growth I have experienced. This piece reminds me of the growth I have experienced and the anxiety and depression I have gone through. The eyes are the people who have seen my growth but don't see the battles I had to overcome to achieve that growth. I continue to struggle with my anxieties and past, but through creating I have found my way to grow.
Honorable Mention Digital Arts: I am fractured. Whether it was from my own mental health problems or from traumatic events, I have been broken over and over. I have lost pieces of myself and replaced these pieces with new, improved, colorful ones. I have put myself back together, much like stained glass artists do to their own artwork. I will continue to feel broken, and I will continue to add new pieces to myself. Progress cannot be made any other way. One day, my portrait will be fully colored and I will heal from my past.
I Am a Daughter
Category Winner Digital Arts: "I am a daughter, who loves her mother, I am a sister who supports her siblings, I am a follower of Catholicism which I share a great amount of faith for, I am a runner who chases after her morals and values, I am a dreamer who dreams of being in medical school in the future, I am me. This art piece shows what makes me."
Photography Category Winner: “Shy girl”, “Goody-Two-Shoes”… These are a couple of the countless labels I have been given throughout my life. However, as I ponder these various titles, I can only identify one that gives me a sense of pride and excitement. Dancer. Dance has always served as my outlet for self-expression. The photograph depicts a silhouette of an isolated figure performing a pose, surrounded by towering trees. This scene portrays the concept of a dancer persisting and expressing herself through her passion
despite the labels she continuously hears, which are symbolized by the massive trees. She confidently exclaims, "I am a dancer".
Mess That I Am
Grand Prize Winner: I wrote this song a while ago when I was battling some of the hardest times in my life with little resources. Growing up my feelings and mental illnesses were always invalidated, making it very difficult when I was diagnosed. I was constantly invalidated by those closest to me. This song reminds me to not be like the examples I had growing up, do not run from the scary and impossible days. Recovery is possible and my chance to see the sun will come!
Until then I will continue to create my art with all I have!
I am…for the most part, lost.
I go through life blinded and unrestrained.
From the sunset until dawn
I roam the empty, quiet world
With a silent voice and confused face upon my shoulders.
I am…sometimes found.
In the creases of the sky
And my own mind, I roam freely.
The warm sun and flower fields compliment
My roaring voice and happy face upon my broad shoulders.
I am…always progressing.
The multitude of my potential never ceases.
My intentions are pure and my heart is healing.
Although I wander in between opposite extremes,
I still manage the middle ground. My shoulders manage the weight of both worlds.
I am the mediator.
I reconciled the beautiful relationship
That my scared inner child
And my blooming proud woman
Forged in the fire of doubt and loneliness.
Our union will only lead to greatness.
I am enough. I am great.
Honorable Mention Poetry: This year has been a roller coaster for me. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and crawled out of my depression and anxiety. Although I'm better now, I still struggle sometimes. This poem reflects the dark and light inside me. It represents that I find strength in both.
Engulfed by the constant fear of not being enough,
I struggle to meet an unreachable standard
enforced only by me.
Those in my life want me to succeed,
but more than that,
they want me to be happy.
Joy appears unattainable;
looming darkness clouds my perception.
I’m doing everything right,
but still an unavoidable cage of sadness
Keeps me from escaping apathy.
I push through exhaustion to accomplish simple tasks.
It’s difficult to remain hopeful
when you’ve been fighting for so long
and nothing seems to change.
Sometimes I slip up.
Forgetting my medication or not eating enough
can quickly cause me to spiral,
and I stay in bed for days at a time.
But still, I try my best to tame my symptoms.
Resisting the pull of a depressive episode,
I push through my school work.
The perfectionist in me is learning to accept
that it’s better to do something poorly
then not at all.
Oftentimes, I fall behind in school
and struggle to prioritize my health.
There is pride found in going through so much
for so long
and keep going.
when I could give up,
I show my strength.
I am resilient
and I am determined to keep living.
Honorable Mention Poetry: My submission is a poem that describes my struggles with depression, anxiety, and other various health issues. My poem represents the prompt “I Am” because it demonstrates how having health issues has impacted me and how I have become more resilient as a result. It shows that I have been heavily affected by the conditions but that they do not make up my identity.
do we become what consumes us?
or are we just hidden somewhere beneath it all?
what if it can’t get any worse?
i’m scared of living it
of breathing it all in
until there’s no space between myself
and the shell that i’m piloting
i don’t want to end
knowing that there’s no one out there
who’s really been able to pull back all the layers
who’s seen the battle scars past the surface of my skin
because the truth is that i only inhabit this vessel
and mostly i try to forget it
and mostly i do
but sometimes the realization hits me
that this is not me
and i try to crawl my way out
desperately clawing at the walls of my prison
who’s to say i can’t stay like this forever?
who’s to say i can’t try?
Category Winner Poetry: This poem is about identity. It describes feeling trapped by your present circumstances, whether it be your mental illness, body, job, etc. The piece frames the confusing question of “Is this me?” and ventures past the surface to encourage the reader to wonder about what makes them who they really are.
Category Winner Dance: I did a dance piece with my composed music because in my heart, I'm an artist. I recently went through a rough time and I wasn't
sure if I would be here today which is why I created a piece that is me from the core. I didn't pre-choreograph my dance; I wanted to
express what I was feeling and to be raw. I want to know that it’s ok to make mistakes. I am still on my journey to discover my body
and who I am but in the meanwhile, I can only cherish the simple things in life.
There’s another competition coming up!
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