acrylic; 11×14″

“I am currently a student in the ninth grade. In my painting on the theme of ignorance one sees two racially diverse people opposing one another, one being darker than the other. Ignorance is represented by each of their backgrounds and facial expressions. On the left, behind the black person, the background is Earth, represented by a dark, gloomy, sad and depressed appearance indicating that the Earth is falling apart. The black person’s face, matching the theme of the Earth, is also sad and gloomy, stressed and tired. The white person’s background is clouds, playing off the saying, “having your head in the clouds”. The clouds are of vibrant colors, bright and joyful. The white person’s face also matches the theme of the background, calm, relaxed, eyes closed representing being oblivious to what is going on in the world. The message of my painting is that the black person is trying to speak to the white person about everything wrong with our world, everything that has happened in history, but the white person has their head in the clouds, refusing to see and hear what’s going on. Hopefully, over time people will change, open their eyes and start to acknowledge everything going on in the world and want to make change.”

ARTIST BIO: The Gifted and Talented freshman art students of Megan Smarda, art teacher at Winton Woods High School in Forest Park., have participated in the SOS ART show for many years now and are always greatly inspired by the artworks submitted each year. Their participation in this show greatly inspires them to create their own concepts around Freedom, Peace and Justice and what this means to them in this day and age. The pandemic this year has proven to create many challenges for these students. Struggling with virtual/blended learning, limited art supplies, and limited exposure to the “art community” of a classroom, they have prevailed and feel like they are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. They are all so happy to be back in school and appreciate the art classroom all the more.