School: West Anchorage High School
Finally filled with purpose, I decided to shoot a series of portraits with models of all ages and ethnicities in order to encompass the idea of supporting one another throughout our community and I settled on the message “Give Strength To Each Other”. I then pasted these photographs on a canvas washed with shades of violet and accented with purple because purple is the national color for suicide awareness. One of the key facets to my piece is the word strength which I photographed my friend Xiomara holding my necklace that is a copper chain with the word strength attached to it. This necklace was given to me by my mother when I was bullied in fourth grade and every time my life turns to a darker place, this necklace and its meaning has motivated me to persevere which is exactly what I want to portray through my art. I want this piece to remind people of the good in life and why we persevere. We persevere through the strife because of love and it is now, more than ever, crucial to remind our community of that. In our modern world, more people die from suicide than car accidents and 90% of these deaths are related to a diagnosable and treatable mental health condition. By raising our community’s awareness, we can make known the services and organizations that can offer the help to end these tragedies.
Now the purpose of my art is not to dwell on the desolation of suicide, but exactly the opposite; It is to remind people of the reason to live and that there is always another solution. My piece cannot stop someone who is already suicidal, but it can encourage the friends and family to be brave enough to seek help. All I hope is that this piece may encourage just one person that life is worth living and to remind someone that they are never alone and always loved.