Joelle Thompson – Spring 2018 Scholarship Winner

Meet Joelle Thompson, a senior at Columbia College, who is majoring in Painting & Drawing, with an emphasis in watercolor. We would like to congratulate Ms. Thompson on being selected as one of three recipients of our Frederic Whitaker and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker Foundation Scholarships for the Spring 2018 term. You can see her artwork and artist statement below.

Blazing Star, 2017, 30″ x 40,” watercolor  © Joelle Thompson

Mountain Mint, 2017, 4′ x 4,’ watercolor  © Joelle Thompson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artist statement:

I am a Senior at Columbia College of Columbia, Missouri, graduating in May 2018 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting & Drawing, and minors in Education and Art History. After the BFA, I will stay on at Columbia College in an accelerated Masters in the Arts of Teaching program with certifications in Art and Spanish Education. I plan to graduate with my Masters in July or August 2019. With these degrees, I want to educate the next generation and exhibit my work, while promoting intercultural, interdisciplinary, eco-friendly practices. In my time at Columbia College I have been a member of Kappa Delta Pi and Alpha Chi honor societies, a Sustainability Committee member, and a Study Abroad Ambassador. I have exhibited work in the Boone County Art Show, Columbia Art League (CAL), the University of Missouri, and Columbia College; I have also volunteered with CAL’s annual Art in the Park.

Fall of 2014, I never imagined my journey toward a BFA would lead me toward a solo watercolor exhibition. I enjoyed too many other media and found it difficult to focus on one, even in class. Watercolor was the last thing on my mind; my small, liberal arts college eliminated watercolor classes due to low demand.

Yet, last semester, as I struggled to find my voice in oil paints and gouache for my BFA review, my professors suggested I select one medium that spoke to me best. As I reflected, I was carried back to my high school years, to the projects I made in my studio classes. Watercolor felt the most intuitive to me. It was so well-suited to the expressive, organic demands of my subject matter (Native Missouri wildflowers that benefit pollinators). I was surprised—the professors allowed me to pursue it as my medium of choice.

After spring semester, I was fortunate to spend the summer in Peru and Ecuador. In Ecuador, especially, I found inspiration. I volunteered at a home for vulnerable young women, lived with them and painted their portraits. Another volunteer introduced me to a well-known Bolivian watercolorist, José Rodríguez Sánchez, whose exhibition showed me that watercolor can be large scale and take front stage. South American watercolors awed me with their immediacy and blending of human identity with the land.

Over the past semester I have hiked, researched, and grown natives to find inspiration. My style is delicate and reflects the fragile nature of the flowers I paint, and my palette of non-toxic, mostly earth-based pigments captures a softness and care I wish to convey to my viewer. I want to make the wildflowers that our pollinators depend on approachable, inviting, worthy of space.

 

Carolyn Nordengren – Spring 2018 Scholarship Winner

Meet Carolyn Nordengren, a junior at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, who is majoring in Art History. We would like to congratulate Ms. Nordengren on being selected as one of three recipients of our Frederic Whitaker and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker Foundation Scholarships for the Spring 2018 term. You can read her essay and artist statement below.

Essay Question: “The purpose of art is to create a thing of beauty, to convey a thought or message of some kind, or to provide inspiration to someone” – by Frederic Whitaker. Please select two paintings, one by Frederic Whitaker and one by Eileen Monaghan Whitaker, then describe your choices using the above quote for guidance. 

There is beauty to be found everywhere, and for as long as there has been art, artists have sought to portray this beauty through their work. The art practices of Frederic and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker portray this sentiment through their choices of subject. These artists chose to focus on different themes in their respective artistic practices. Frederic Whitaker focused on landscapes, boats on the sea, and buildings. Eileen Monaghan Whitaker, while also paying attention to buildings and some landscapes, dedicated much of her work to intimate portraits of women and animals. At first glance, these artists seem like perfect contrasts for one another. Frederic Whitaker left school at the age of fourteen and was a self taught artist. Eileen Monaghan Whitaker, on the other hand, attended the Massachusetts College of Art. Frederic Whitaker meticulously planned every detail of his works. Eileen Monaghan Whitaker felt her way through her watercolors. The Whitakers do share one important feature. These are two artists who took the time to notice the beauty of everyday life. Looking at the watercolors of Frederic Whitaker and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker shows the viewer that beauty is, in fact, everywhere. The Whitaker’s artworks are the results of people who spent their days fully aware of the beauty of everyday.

Frederic Whitaker focused on views of buildings on city streets or land and seascapes. His art practice can be represented by his 1996 work Sunset on the Plains. The painting is, as the title suggests, an image of a sun setting over the plains, a memory from his and Eileen’s drive through the Western Plains. In the distance of the painting is a small town, its buildings clustered together for a sense of security and community. The watercolor is made up of vibrant colors. Orange dominates the work. Frederic explores the way the colors of the darkening sky mix together and both reflect and contrast with the colors of the ground; vibrant greens and blues are present in the sky as well as the grass. He conveys the fading light by muting the rest of his color palette. Orange gives way to a warm brown, blues and greens fade away to gray. While the colors used in this work contribute greatly to the aesthetic value of the work, the real beauty is what the work conveys. The beauty of this painting is not in the importance of the image, in fact this could be any evening sky over any small town in the American plains. Through his sentimental portrayal of this memory, Frederic Whitaker has captured the beauty of an event that happens everywhere, everyday.

Eileen Monaghan Whitaker, while occasionally painting buildings and landscapes, chose to focus her artworks on intimate portraits of women and children, as well as animals. Her 1975 watercolor Se Venden Naranjas illustrates this. In this painting three women sit on the ground nearby the exterior of a building. Around the women are a few baskets, some overflowing with oranges, others empty. Like Frederic Whitaker, she utilizes a naturalistic color palette, dominated by shades of white, brown, and gray. The color of the oranges has been muted so as not to distract from the women, but is still bright enough to provide warmth to the painting. Also like Frederic Whitaker, she has taken a mundane moment and, in memorializing it, has drawn the viewer’s attention to the beauty in it. These women, frozen in a moment of repose, are not posing. They are not pretending to be anything other than what they are. They sell oranges. These tired women, sitting barefooted on the stone ground have a quiet dignity about them. The act of dedicating a watercolor to these women shows that Eileen Monaghan Whitaker realized beauty in them. The viewer pauses to appreciate the beauty in an image that, if encountered in real life, they may not have paid more than a moment’s attention to.

When first comparing the lives and artistic approaches of the Whitakers one may believe they could not possibly have anything in common. Of course, they do share a chosen media and a distinct style, but the most important shared characteristic of the Whitakers’ artworks is their attention and devotion to the portrayal of the beauty of everyday life. It is clear from the above paintings that the Whitakers were interested in portraying beauty through their artistic practices. In Sunset on the Plains, Frederic Whitaker chose to paint a scene familiar to and appreciated by all. Eileen Monaghan Whitaker, in contrast, portrayed a scene that surely only a few of Se Venden Naranjas‘ viewers had ever encountered in the real world. She portrays these women in their everyday lives, and in doing so shows the viewers the beauty in this. It is this appreciation of the beauty of everyday life that truly united the artistic practices of the Whitakers and what distinguishes them as artists.

Artist Statement:

There is a saying that goes, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears” and so it was for me and my love of Art History. When I took my first Art History class I was majoring in Psychology and had enrolled in an introductory course to fulfill my university’s general education requirements. I expected the class to be enjoyable, I expected to learn a little about art, I expected to something else. What I did not expect was to fall completely in love with the field. Now, almost two years later, I am completing my Bachelor’s degree in Art History from the University of Missouri – Kansas City and could not be happier.

During this time, I have had many opportunities to work and research in my field. I learned about museum education through the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures Education, where I learn how to make museum collections interesting to a general audience. This instilled in me a passion to make museums relevant and accessible to everyone.

Other internships and opportunities have cultivated my love of research. I was an intern and conducted independent research at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. I had the opportunity to present that research at the first annual Missouri Western State University and Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art Undergraduate Art History Symposium in April of last year. This research is also being published in my University’s undergraduate research journal. My passion for research was further supported by my University when they selected my grant proposal and funded a research project in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City where I studied ancient Greek tombstones. I also had the opportunity to present this research at my University’s Undergraduate Research Symposium earlier this year.

During my time at the University of Missouri – Kansas City I have also been involved in a variety of student service positions from Admissions to Recruitment to Residential Life. I currently work as a Resident Assistant for the university. I live with a group of thirty freshman students, helping them transition to college life by providing academic support and community development. I am also a member of Alpha Phi Omega, a national fraternity dedicated to promoting leadership through service.

After graduation I plan to continue my studies earning a Ph.D. in Art History with an emphasis in Early Modern Art. I hope to be able to use this degree to bring Art History to more people. I plan on working in a museum as a curator, focusing on creating exhibitions and gallery spaces that appeal to a wide array of people. Later in my career I would like to become a University professor in Art History so that I can instill in others the same passion for art history my professors gave me.

 

Madison Miller – Spring 2018 Scholarship Winner

Meet Madison Miller, a freshman at Wellesley College, who is majoring in Studio Art. We would like to congratulate Ms. Miller on being selected as one of three recipients of our Frederic Whitaker and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker Foundation Scholarships for the Spring 2018 term. You can see her artwork and artist statement below.

Hidden Agenda, 2017, 11 5/16″ x 12,” watercolor ©Madison Miller

Jellyfish Junkyard, 2017, 1.25′ x 2.5,’ watercolor ©Madison Miller

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artist Statement:

Artistic expression is a window into the unseen spheres of our imagination – a visual embodiment of our aspirations, fears, and passions. Successful attempts at art are those that present the viewers with a concept that meets them on an intellectual and an emotional level, employing sophisticated techniques and concepts, which inspire conversation, contention, and activism. Examples of such pieces line the walls of history, and while many of these artworks require insight to be understood, the artists do not patronize their audience. Rather, they acknowledge them, thus safeguarding their integrity as professionals. It is this characteristic of confidence and acumen that I strive toward in my own work and life as an artist.

Just as my art shapes who I am, my experiences shape my art. Containing imagery and symbolism that allude to psychological concepts and personal suppositions, every piece I make is a statement that I feel compelled to relay. I believe that it is essential to learn beyond technique to succeed in the creative realm and render compositions that better express the intentions of the artist. This is one of the reasons why I decided to attend a liberal arts institution.

My college does not give grades to first-years in their first semester, but you can see my dedication and work ethic already in my involvement as Treasurer of the Wellesley Art Club, an animation intern under Ilana Meeker, an art tutor for several children in the Wellesley area, my planned participation in Wellesley’s Ruhlman Conference where I will showcase my art, and the publication of several of my pieces in various magazines across campus.

In the past, my piece, Star Sleeper, won both the designation of Best in School and entry into Evening of Excellence whereupon it was put in an auction with 24 other pieces to raise money for the education of the arts in Sarasota County schools. It sold for $2,000 and was featured in SRQ magazine. In addition to this, the Sarasota County School Board and the Education Foundation created a poster contest under the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading; there were 38,000 entries. My poster won a first-place prize and was often used as the contest’s cover photo.

I was also chosen to receive a competitive $2,000 Precollege Scholarship from the Pine View Association to attend an artistic institution over the summer, I received 11 Gold Keys at Regional Scholastics and the American Visionary Nomination, I was an Embracing Our Differences Quote Winner 2 years in a row, a Sarasota Women’s Exchange Art Scholar, a Fine Arts Society of Sarasota Scholar, and a Boar’s Head Sons and Daughters Scholar.

Considering the future, I aspire to become a gallery artist: working in residencies, creating public art, and partaking in international art competitions. I want to be able to have an impact on the world and to be able to raise awareness for the causes that are close to my heart and which are often overlooked.

Rocio Sanchez-Nolasco – Spring 2018 Honorable Mention

Meet Rocio Sanchez-Nolasco, a junior at the University of California, Los Angeles, who is majoring in Art History. We would like to congratulate Ms. Sanchez-Nolasco on being selected as one of the three recipients of our Spring 2018 Honorable Mention Commendations for a Frederic Whitaker and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker Foundation Scholarship. You can read her essay and artist statement below:

Essay Question: “The purpose of art is to create a thing of beauty, to convey a thought or message of some kind, or to provide inspiration to someone” – by Frederic Whitaker. Please select two paintings, one by Frederic Whitaker and one by Eileen Monaghan Whitaker, then describe your choices using the above quote for guidance. 

The paintings Night Lights (1981) by Eileen Monaghan Whitaker and Harlem Sunshine (1947) by Frederic Whitaker both fully embody the capabilities and purpose of art as described by Frederic Whitaker. Both watercolor paintings are creating an inspirational image of beauty within the normal and everyday landscape of the city. The paintings both point to the beauty of what otherwise might be considered a mundane setting, providing a new perspective, inspiring others to look for beauty where they might least expect it. These watercolor paintings serve as a reminder to the viewer that inspiration and art can coexist within the realm of the norm and ordinary, quotidian life we see and live.

The central component of Harlem Sunshine is not solely the clotheslines and the surrounding architectural environment. Rather the focus lies in the transformation of the clothesline under the rays of sunshine, into something far more vibrant and beautiful than just laundry. Harlem Sunshine directs the viewer’s gaze to a mundane, domestic space within the urban landscape. The vertical orientation of the painting allows for multi-story buildings to make up most of the composition of the painting. However the varied use of color is able to produce different highlights and shadows, creating contrast to direct the viewer’s gaze to the vibrancy of the clothesline. The light source, originating from the left of the building, is directed towards the colorful clotheslines between the buildings. The use of light, pastel shades for the articles of clothing on the clothesline creates explicit contrast with the darker tones used to create the buildings. The clotheslines radiate sunshine and colors making the viewer draw their gaze to an unlikely source of beauty. Serving as inspiration to the viewer and a reminder to look for beauty in the most unforeseen places. Although a figurative component is included in along the bottom right corner of the painting, the proportions of the architecture in the composition overpower the scale of the figure. Leaving the focus of the painting on the colorful, bright clothes line invading the shadows of the architecture sustaining them.

The main focus of Night Lights is the depiction of all the accumulating lights of the city landscape captured from a distant perspective, creating a vantage point for depth of space. In Night Lights the majority of the composition of the painting is done in black and different shades of gray. This is done in order to communicate the nighttime setting and to differentiate space within the composition, such as the horizon line and bodies of water. The horizontal orientation of the space allows for a wider view to capture the entirety of the landscape. Within the space of the city there are small dots of red, orange, yellow, and blue integrated with black and white paint to give the impression of artificial lights. Furthermore this helps give the painting optical depth, through the variation in color, as if the viewer was gazing at the city from a distance. This effect of a distant perspective is also emphasized in the composition, more specifically in the foreground. Along the foreground of the painting there are bushes and grass, but more importantly there are leaves and branches overlapping the gaze of the viewer from the top right of the painting. The viewer is transported and situated on a hilltop or mountain, viewing the city at night from an elevated distance. The horizontal composition and use of perspective is crucial for the viewer to capture the beauty of the urban landscape and realize how inspiring the settings of daily action can actually be.

The use of the urban landscape is utilized in both paintings to present to the viewer with different perspectives of beauty and inspiration. Within Harlem Sunshine the urban environment is used to frame and contextualize the extraordinary use of color and light on an unexpected sources of inspiration. In contrast, in Night Lights the urban city is transformed into the object of beauty when looked at from an isolated perspective. Both artists are able to situate the viewer within a position compelling them to stop and appreciate an urban landscape for what it could be; to look beyond the utility it might serve. Although both landscape paintings are set within different chronological times of day, both emphasize the vibrancy of light in the landscape, through the use of natural and artificial light sources. The paintings might be night and day yet they are both able to provide a new perspective and admiration for our surrounding, everyday landscapes in order to serve as inspiration.

Artist Statement:

Growing up in a small, agricultural town as the daughter of immigrant farmworkers did not include a great deal of opportunities for a formal arts education or the inclusion of the arts in general. The opportunities I had to learn about the visual arts were limiting and scarce within my schooling and community. However I had enough opportunities to know that this was a subject I was interested in and thought there was nothing else like it. When I gained the privilege and opportunity to continue to pursue a higher education. I instantly knew without a doubt that this was my chance of gaining the accessibility and knowledge I always wanted regarding the arts.

As a third year Art History major, I have been able to gain more clarity and assurance about what career path I want to pursue and the prospective possibility of continuing to pursue a higher education in the near future. Thinking about my future endeavors more seriously as I come closer to graduating. I want to pursue a job in the museum field and my goal is to ultimately work in museum education or arts education within a museum context. I think museums are a great resource and platform to inspire, learn, and explore that might at times seem intimidating to others. Nonetheless I want to work in museum education or arts education in order to be able to help make the museum space and resources a welcoming accessible space for other to learn and enjoy. Because of this I am thinking about pursuing graduate school in order to attend a program specializing in museum studies or education. Either of these programs would be helpful in fulfilling my professional goal of working in museum education.

During the summer of 2017, I was able to intern at the Museum of Art and History as part of their Youth Programs department. This was an amazing, insightful experience where I was able to work, both individually and in a team setting, to create programs and lesson plans to suit a family oriented space and intergenerational audiences. This internship was able to solidify my interest in museums and arts education. It assured me that this is what I want to do and can do in the future as a full time profession. This is also why I decided to continue to look for other opportunities to learn more about museum work. This academic school year I have made the commitment to be an Academic Programs intern for the Hammer Museum. This internship will be focused in working to fit the needs of university audiences such as college students and professors. Thus far I have been able to gain insight into how see how a larger scale museum function in terms of academic programming. I have been able to jump into established projects and new program ideas in order to help with planning, outreach, and facilitating activities for a wide array of audiences and museum visitors. I am excited to see what else is in store for the rest of the academic school year. In looking to broaden my undergraduate experience beyond the academic I have been able to clearly pinpoint what I want to professionally achieve in the near future.

Alissa Hashisaka – Spring 2018 Honorable Mention

Meet Alissa Hashisaka, a senior at Oregon State University, who is majoring in Art. We would like to congratulate Ms. Hashisaka on being selected as one of the three recipients of our Spring 2018 Honorable Mention Commendations for a Frederic Whitaker and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker Foundation Scholarship. You can see her artwork and artist statement below:

Osaka-Jo, 2017, 9″ x 12,” watercolor ©Alissa Hashisaka 

Summer Glory, 2017, 9″ x 12,” watercolor ©Alissa Hashisaka 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artist Statement:

I am Alissa Hashisaka, and I’m an aspiring fine artist from Elk Grove, California. For ten years, I had been studying the art of watercolor painting in private classes under the tutelage of Ms. Julia Jaw after being introduced to Chinese brush art at the age of eight. As time progressed, my skills advanced as well, and in due time watercolor painting became my favorite art media. What had started as a simple pastime had quickly become my passion and an effective way to express myself. In hopes of broadening my perspective, I decided to supplement my knowledge with the art and photography classes offered at my high school, thus inspiring me to seek ways in which I could develop a career out of my artistic ability.

Currently, I attend Oregon State University as a Fine Arts major in the hopes of learning not only how to become a better artist, but how to be a self-employed professional artist with a fundamental understanding of various other media as well. With this goal in mind, I hope to greatly improve my watercolor painting ability to become a successful artist.

To prepare myself, I sought different opportunities in which I could display my art and gain experience in seeing how an art gallery is run. During my time as Ms. Jaw’s pupil, she encouraged our class to compete in the California State Fair’s Youth Art & Design Expo Competition, where I won First, Second, and Third Place ribbons in the years 2012, 2013, and 2014. In 2012, I displayed several of my paintings in the Sacramento State Capitol Building for about a month. Additionally, in Spring 2015 I was employed by my residence hall’s Arts + Social Justice Living Learning Community as a Peer Leader and its gallery director until the end of the academic year. For the two months that I was Peer Leader, I learned how to efficiently manage time and resources, as well as promote and advertise for the gallery. I additionally learned how to be an activity supervisor by hosting art workshops in the gallery, gaining valuable skills as an administrator. To gain better insight into what it means to be an art teacher, I volunteered last summer to be the teacher’s assistant at Bella Vista High School for Mrs. Tanya Jenkins in California, where I learned valuable tips on how to encourage students to grow and develop their creativity. With these experiences in mind, I feel confident that I can meet and overcome whichever obstacles I will encounter once I begin my career.

After I graduate, I intend to move to the Monterey Bay area to open my own art studio, where I will display my own watercolors and photographic prints. However, I also intend to give back to my community by offering painting and drawing classes to people of all ages. In this way, I hope to provide people with an outlet for self-expression, and perhaps even help others nurture their artistic ability to provide them with a productive hobby or a potential career option. For now, I practice drawing, calligraphy, and kendo as my hobbies.

Alissa Hashisaka’s website: https://alissahashisakapainting.com

 

Josefina De La Torre – Spring 2018 Honorable Mention

Meet Josefina De La Torre, a senior at Sacramento City College, who is majoring in Art History. We would like to congratulate Ms. De La Torre on being selected as one of the three recipients of our Spring 2018 Honorable Mention Commendations for a Frederic Whitaker and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker Foundation Scholarship. You can read her essay and artist statement below:

Essay Question: “The purpose of art is to create a thing of beauty, to convey a thought or message of some kind, or to provide inspiration to someone” – by Frederic Whitaker. Please select two paintings, one by Frederic Whitaker and one by Eileen Monaghan Whitaker, then describe your choices using the above quote for guidance. 

The purpose of art is to provide inspiration to someone from the overall message of the artwork. Frederic Whitaker’s words sum up what art provides for the viewer and what the artist gives up. “Giving up” in this context is the artist presenting their version of what they see, feel, or want to communicate. Whitaker’s message of what is art’s purpose, is perfectly demonstrated in both his own artwork and the artwork of his wife, Eileen Monaghan Whitaker. The “Lettuce Pickers” (1966) by Frederic Whitaker and “Se Venden Naranjas” (1975) by Eileen Monaghan Whitaker embody the meaning of his words: the beauty of humanity.

“Lettuce Pickers” was painted in 1966 by Frederic Whitaker. The painting is a scene that looks like it could be happening right in front of the viewer’s eyes. The figures are boxing up and picking lettuce in a field of green. The figures are dressed in working clothes with hats to shield their face from the hot sun. The conscious choice of using different values of one color creates movement for the viewer. It makes the scene come alive for the viewer’s experience. This use of color is what allows the viewer to connect with the painting. That connection puts them in the place of where the figures are. When this was painted, Cesar Chavez’s migrant workers rights movement was happening and this movement directly affected part of the economy. The movement catalyzed the boycott of grapes and lettuce, which in turn, affected the workers. This painting is an insight of the daily work of migrant farm workers who do this to support their families. With the impact of Cesar Chavez and the work that migrant farm workers do, this painting can have different meanings for different people. Some may see machines that are just doing their jobs to make ends meet, others see fathers, sons, uncles, nephews. Whitaker was capturing the picker’s humanity. These are men who are tired from the hard labor, who stress about bills and family matters just like anyone else. With that humanity being displayed, there can be an association by personal experience or knowing someone who has gone through it. Whitaker is displaying the hard work that these men do to contribute to the economy.

“Se Venden Naranjas” was painted in 1975 by Eileen Monaghan Whitaker, nine years after her husband painted “Lettuce Pickers.” The image is of three women sitting and waiting, while being surrounded by baskets full of oranges. The scene is idle and indicates calm feelings as if the viewer is getting a glimpse of a daily occurrence. The idleness is tied directly to the relaxed  scene, as if the viewer is actually meeting the eyes of one girl who is staring back at them. Similar to how “Lettuce Pickers” showed men hard at work, the same situation is applied here. These women are hard at work to earn their wages, and the vibrant color of the oranges entice the viewer’s eye to dance throughout the scene. The connection of the painting is prevalent which draws the viewer in and displays the humanity of the three women.

In relation to the words of Frederic Whitaker, the purpose of these works that were discussed provide inspiration to the viewer to relay an idea. They are showing people hard at work doing jobs that are not necessarily deemed “normal” or “acceptable” in modern society. Both of these works are a platform to a voice that is often lost.  No matter how long ago these works were created, the people displayed did not disappear. Migrant farm workers and indigenous peoples still exist and still do hard labor of either picking lettuce or selling oranges on the street. Both images provide a platform for people to understand, it can also help inspire people to take action and help these people in their times of need. Even though these paintings were created many years ago, they still hold merit to the issues that are plaguing today’s world. The humanity of the figures in both works that is being expressed can be a spark in someone to fight for the rights of immigrants, farm workers, and indigenous persons. It is that inspiration that forces change to happen and helps people understand one another. These people are real and that is what both artists wanted to be visible. Everything these paintings represent solidifies Frederic Whitaker’s words.

As discussed before, both artworks that were created by the Whitaker’s and embody his words that the purpose of art is to provide inspiration to someone from the overall message of the artwork. The artworks that were discussed demonstrate the beauty of humanity. In relation to this beauty, it is also very important to provide voices to the voiceless to better our humanity. 

Artist Statement:

Life is a painting. Every memory, event, or milestone is a brushstroke that adds to the overall scene that is my life. The artwork of my life may not be perfect nor beautiful in certain areas, but it is unique. My mom has always told me that life is a road in which you lay your own path. The foundation exists, but it is up to you on where it goes and how it is made.

I was raised by a single mother who always made sure that my brothers and I had everything to the best of her ability. We may not have had the newest, trendiest things that other children had, but we appreciated what we had. She showed us that hard work will take you places. “It is better to work now, than later,” is something she always said and we would either nod in approval or groan in dismay, but I always keep it in the back of my mind. She started us on the “road” in order for my brothers and I to create our “artworks.”

Growing up, I was stepping to my own beat. I loved to let my imagination run wild. Whether it was twirling and skipping in princess costumes or drawing characters and creating stories. Stories that were based on whatever I came up with. I wanted to fill the world with color and stories. However, my world was not always filled with color and stories. During the first two years of high school, my world was very angry and dark. I felt like I was spiraling out of control and I lost my way on my own road. Every day felt like those colors that I once radiated were wilting and turning to grey and blacks. But after I realized that I need help with my depression and sought treatment, the colors became a little bit brighter with every day that passed by.

Once I got to college, my passion for art and the history behind it was reawakened. I saw the stories and colors that the artists saw and felt. In a way, that is what I hope to accomplish later on down the road. I am studying Art History because those artists wanted to do the same thing. They filled their worlds with color and told their own stories. To this day, the world is still captivated by their stories and colors. Once I earn my degree in Art History, I hope to be able to become a curator of a museum. In being a curator, I hope to be able to tell and show the unique stories that artists were weaving in their time. But it is not just telling stories of pasts artists. As a curator, I want to  be able to help others in finding their own roads, telling their stories and displaying the unique artworks that is their life. Their artworks and stories can help me in filling this world with endless colors and stories.