Diana Kovalchuk, a sophomore at Virginia Commonwealth University, was awarded an Honorable Mention Commendation for Art from the Frederic Whitaker and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker Foundation for Spring 2020.
In her student statement she wrote: “I was born in Central Asia, in Kazakhstan, one of the biggest and richest countries. I moved to Northern Virginia during my freshman year of high school. One year ago, I became an American citizen. For as long as I can remember, I was fond of art and history. I always had some art supplies in my hands and innovative ideas in my mind. In middle school, I attended the School of Fine Arts and Technical Design. A. Kasteeva. A diploma from that school was equivalent to an art college diploma. Thanks to that school, I became a partner and friend of UNESCO in Kazakhstan. In High School, I was chosen to attend Virginia Governor’s School, where I had a fantastic experience collaborating with art professors and students on art projects. I received five Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Two Certificates of Special Congressional Recognition from Gerald E. Connolly. My name was mentioned three times in Fairfax Times, and once in Herndon Connection Newspaper. Three years in a row, I made art installations for the Greater Reston Arts Center.
“Even with my financial difficulties, I think millions of people live in terrible living conditions, which can happen to anyone. I am trying to focus more on global problems such as disasters, global warming, wars, starvation, politics, gun control, money addiction, and anything that needs more attention in this world to be changed. A lot of people live in a utopia, became narcissistic. The mission and goal of my art is to encourage people, make problems visually relevant to them. I believe that each big change starts from one individual who takes the action. I also like to break the rule, that art should be untouchable. I think it is important to touch, interact, hear, and see the artwork. It makes people learn something unique.”