Elysium Literary/Art Magazine 2017 Edition

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Elysium Literary & Art Magazine Volume 16 2017 www.elysiummagazine.com Coral Reef Senior High School 10101 SW 152 Street Miami, FL 33157 Contact: email: amyscott@dadeschools.net Telephone: 305 984-7056

Editorʼs Note The artist’s craft is to create a patchwork of thoughts. We wanted to pay homage to this artistic journey by stitching together a multitude of perspectives that would otherwise be divided. The intention of this publication was to bring to light the simplistic beauty within that division while emphasizing that the divide is merely an illusion. Differences shouldn’t be a criteria for separation; in fact, they are what ties us together. “Interwoven”, the title of the cover art, set the theme for this year's edition. No words can better evoke the undeniable link between our experiences; no cover can better accentuate the endeavor to string together the myriad of outlooks that life provides. From the darkest depths of our personal experiences, to our rebirth, and finally to the synthesis of compassion and kindness that is so inherent within us, our magazine encompasses the human condition. Elysium is therefore an anomaly for its time. In an era that can sometimes be lost in discord, it manages to knit together a bond that cannot be described in any other way except by its themes. Audrey Daugherty Editor In Chief

Cover: Interwoven | Catalina Cortes | Oil on canvas with embroidery Inside Cover: detail from Interwoven | Catalina Cortes | Oil on canvas with embroidery

About Us Published continuously since 2005, Elysium Magazine is an annual publication designed to showcase student creativity in writing and art. This year’s staff of twenty-four students hail from five academies and represent grades 10-12. Elysium meets every Wednesday after school from October to March as well as three full weeks in April. All staff are involved in procuring, selecting, matching, designing, and proofing the magazine. To reach an even larger audience, the magazine hosts a website, elysiummagazine.com, that features archived PDFs as well as programs and pictures from our past galas held at Books and Books in Coral Gables. Here in this venue, various artists, writers, actors, and musicians present dramatic readings, art talks, and performances.

Philosophy The magazine’s purpose is to showcase the beauty of the relationship between literature and art. What distinguishes Elysium is that we endeavor to represent our student body as a whole. Additionally, the magazine seeks to establish ties with the larger community, recognize exemplary student work, and teach professional design and layout. We believe there is real value in preserving the continuation of print media.

Editorial Policy To ensure that the magazine is truly representative of the creative work of the entire school, staff is selected across

the academies, and art and writing submissions are judged anonymously. In October, the editor in chief, the supervising editor, and the adviser select staff based on a personal interview, a portfolio, and the student’s ability to evaluate an unknown piece of writing or art. To further ensure fairness, submissions are judged anonymously identified only by a student i.d.. The lit staff reads submissions in solitude and then rates pieces according to a rubric before meeting as a group. Final selections are based on style, distinctive theme, and the overall quality of the work. Finally, the layout staff, who has previously trained the staff in InDesign and chosen fonts and cover possibilities, act as a guide, aiding individual staff members in creating two assigned layouts, designed to integrate with the overall theme and look of the magazine.

Colophon The 2017 Staff created Volume 16 using Adobe InDesign © CS5.5 and Adobe Photoshop © CS5.5 on Dell Desktop computers. The staff selected YU Gothic Light sized at 48 points for titles and sized at 24 points for the author’s names. For the body text, staff designers used Minion Pro sized at 11 points. The cover title was fashioned with Gill Sans MT sized at 172 points. The 2017 edition consists of 120 pages; the inside pages are printed on 80 lb matte white paper and the cover pages are printed on 100 lb white linen. Rodes Printing Inc. located in Miami, Florida published 200 full color perfect bound copies , 175 of which were distributed, free of charge, to students in the school on a first-come, first-served basis and to teachers upon request.

Literary Staff

Audrey Daugherty

Emmi Avalos Lianne D’Arcy Catarina Fernandez Daniela Hernandez Michelle Huang Tyler Vazquez Leah Nadell Yasmine Torres

Assistant Editor Sarah Gouriche

Literary Editors Mariana LaPuente Ismary Guardarrama

Art Editors Eva Bibas Jevon Brown

Layout Editors Cassandra Zuria Jasmine Valdes

Business Manager Sophia Lord

Art Staff Ana Chiriboga Catalina Cortes Marissa Diaz Adrian Regalado Juliette Valdes

Layout Staff Juliana Agudelo Patrick Fernandez


2017 Staff

Editor in Chief

Amy Scott

Special Thanks We would like to extend our appreciation to Mr. Scott Mckinley, Coral Reef ’s visual arts teacher, for his artistic guidance and to our principal, Mr. Thomas P. Ennis, for his continuing support.

Awards Columbia Scholastic Press Association:

Gold Crown Award 2014; Silver Crown Award 2015-2016 Gold Medaist: 2005, 2007 - 2014, 2016 2016 Gold Circle Awards: 1st place for non-fiction column; 1st place photography; 3rd place Cover Design; CM- free form poetry

National Council of Teachers of English PRESLM Program:

Highest National Award: 2008 - 2010, 2012 - 2016

National Scholastic Press Association:

NSPA Pacemaker Finalist 2006 Gold Medalist and All American 2006 -2012 (Discontinued)

Scholastic National Art Portfolio Silver Key with Distinction 2017:

Samantha Smith

Professional Memberships CSPA, NCTE PRESLM


Old Meets Modern | Catalina Cortes | Oil on canvas with embroidery

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Gray Gabriela Espinoza, Poem


Dry Mariana La Puente, Poem


Storms Tyler Vazquez, Poem


Just Check the Box Kailah Strickland, Poem


Swarmed Ashley Perez, Poem


The Digital Metamorphosis Eva Bibas, Personal Artist Statement


Cigar Arlene Arevalo, Prose


Privilege of Individuality Arlene Arevalo, Personal Essay


Weigh Me Down Nicole Marino, Poem


Forgive Me, Father Lianne D’Arcy, Prose


Scorched Earth Melany Campoalegre, Poem


Here We Are Carlo Servito, Poem


Taboo Fabrics Jevon Brown, Interview


Pigmented Augmentation Sarah Gouriche, Poem


Maker Isabela Casanova, Prose


Playground of Bones Emmi Avalos, Poem



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duplicity 46-47 Ismary Guardarrama, Poem

An Innocent Dip 84-85 Kasia Bezen, Poem

Split 48-49 Lianna D’Arcy, Prose

The Streets of Santiago de Las Vegas Juan Garcia, Personal Essay


A Shot at Life 50-51 Maria Medina, Poem

I love you most (in the morning) Lianne D’Arcy, Poem


Chrysanthemums 54-55 Stephanie Woolley-Larrea, Poem

In Honor of the Left-Handed Lucas Grinspan, Prose


Newborn Poet 56-57 Kamila Hernandez, Poem

That the Science of Street Maps are Limited Emily Carmenate, Poem


Eighteen 58-59 Anaï Gressier, Poem The Things I Used To Know Kailah Strickland, Poem


Bedtime Stories and American Dreams 64-65 Ismary Guardarrama, Personal Essay Who Are You? 66-67 Juliette Valdes, Artist Personal Statement How it Feels To Be ____ Me Luis Colli, Personal Essay


Pine Nuts 74-75 Alexandra Sandoval, Poem Paths of Glory 76-77 Diego Velazquez, Personal Essay The Mud Bench 78-79 Emmi Avalos, Poem Outside the Box 80-81 Mariana La Puente, Interview The Oasis 82-83 L’Amat Rosales, Poem

The Seed of An Idea 96-97 Ismary Guardarrama, Interview Klimt’s Kiss 98-99 Isabella Casanova, Poem One Man’s Grain of Sand 100-101 Yasmine Torres, Personal Essay Top Shelf, Left Corner Melany Campoalegre, Poem


Walls of Paper 104-105 Sara Sarmiento, Personal Essay Oxymoron 106-107 Michelle Huang, Poem Good Humor 108-109 Stephanie Woolley-Larrea, Poem june days 110-111 Gabriela Espinoza, Poem The Garden of Eden Ana Xu, Poem


Artist Inspirations Various Artists


Art Tangled Flows Philippe Gornail, Ink, Gesso, and Acrylic on Paper


Late Night Thoughts Jared Skiff, Photography


The Galaxy Nicole Charre, Photography

Page 1 Rage Cassandra Zuria, Digital Art


TNA On My Knees Nathalie Rivera, Prints on Fabric



Je Me Cherche Cloe Leclerc, Acrylic


Piece By Piece Christina Bernadotte, Mixed Media


Silver & Gold Jeysis Reyes, Mixed Media


Hopeful Light 42-43 Kristin Davis, Acrylic on Black Canvas 44-45 Look Up! Jeysis Reyes, Mixed Media

Endlessly Enrapture Eva Bibas, Digital Art


Growth Emmi Avalos, White Pen on Black Paper


Feel Yourself Melanie Chong-Qui, Photography


Drowning Isabel Cataneda, Acrylic


Trapped In Sight An Invisible Cage Emily Ehlen, Ink and Spraypaint on Paper


Toxic Smile Jasmine Valdes, Photography


Icon Marissa Diaz, Acrylic on Mirror


Twilight Cassandra Zuria, Digital Art


54-55 Smartartiarti I’m On Fire Peanut Me & My Friends Guadalupe Cao, Acrylic on Black Canvas

The Dream’s Dream Here But I’m Gone Cloe Leclerc, Photography


Jose Nick Erika Cantin, Enamel Paint and Oil Bars on Canvas


Red Liberty Ilona Arwacher, Digital Photography


Inner Mechanism Connor Albright, Ink Drawing


Pomegranate Pink Lemonade Grapefruit Sydney Shaffer, Gouache on Medium Density Fiber Board


The Spot Sabrina Vega, Gouache


Merrily Tune Dija Thomas, Original Musical Composition


56-57 Etoile Kristin Davis, Acrylic on Black Canvas

Art Sunset Palm Trees Emily Ehlen, Ink and Spraypaint on Paper


Ray of Sunshine Mooney Miss Mysterious Irate Stained Chilled Envy Juliette Valdes, Color Pencil on Medium Density Fiber Board


Page 2 Foreshortening Sabrina Vega, Pastels and Graphite


“No one expected me. Everything awaited me.” Dumbo, Brooklyn Joyce Llopis-Martell, Photography


You Are Me, I Am You Catalina Cortes


Portrait of Stephanie Marilou Jaen, Photography

96-97 98-99

Driven Gisel Anuez, Acrylic


Lips Moving, Suns Setting Sabrina Vega, Mixed Media

Open Field Jasmine Valdes, Photography


Brown Deluxe Martin Abreu, Oil


Grass Joey Cramer, Acrylic


Bubbly Bath Break Ashley Townsend, House Paint and Acrylic


The Sport Is For Respect Samantha Smith, Gouache



Many Wrinkles in Many Feet Sabrina Vega, Graphite on Paper


Mangrove Culture Jevon Brown, Oil and Acrylic on Canvas


Portrait of Kailah Strickland Audrey Daugherty, Photography


An Eye for an Eye Emmi Avalos. Mixed Media


Fountain Leira Padron, Cardboard Sculpture


Parks Nuria Dolphin, Gouache


Rainbow In a Bowl Gabriella Torres, Acrylic


Chartruce Saige Guevara, Digital Art


La Finca Adrian Regalado, Photography


Organic Meaghan Erika Cantin, Enamel and Oil Bars on Cardboard

Cyan Saige Guevara, Digital Art


Jagged Lines Cloe Leclerc, Photography



Gabriela Espinoza

Monotony feels like the smothering delicacy of crawling traffic mildew assembling on comic book graphics hours swimming out the window music blending all into one glazed over eyes bathing in fluorescent lights one too many romantic comedies late at night a quarter rolling down the city drain parched skin caressing velvet sandpaper the catalyst for intimate conversations having fled a harmony between excitement and dread endless echoes with no beginning liquid dust caking on limbs car doors causing numb fingers love that never lingers month-old smudges on the bathroom mirror rinse and repeat and repeat and rinse a mind in need of lubrication a spirit without cultivation


Tangled Flows | Philippe Gornail | Ink, Gesso, and Acrylic on Paper


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Mariana La Puente

We are swallowed whole by the impermeable darkness A shade so inky it demands to be acknowledged as it seeps into what it may meet Asteroids big as boulders Yet small as specks and I am now one of them This is our floor-less dance floor We waltz And waltz And waltz To a song whose denouement has yet to be composed And we never dare to collide For we know not what may happen Forgive me creator, For I have failed you And now am lost, perpetually. I was sent to carry the past on my steel shoulders Classic novels. Iconic art works. Countless artifacts. The remains of the old world Once called Planet Earth, and now deemed “uninhabitable” But what does it matter If their arid new planet does not have a copy of the Farmers’ Almanac? And what good does it serve if Monet’s Water Lilies exist without water? They are the new civilization Born from the destruction of their predecessors Let them learn to live without their creations


The Galaxy | Nicole Charre | Photography



Tyler Vazquez

I lie down drifting slowly into sleep, An endless crash of rain above my home. Its ceaseless terror causes me to weep; This storm of strain cannot be all my own.

In dreams I stand next to an empty sea, Envisioning the thought of traveling Across a vast horizon, breaking free From storms that prove to be unrelenting.

The journey which I wish to see so dear Always seems to be out of my own reach. Yet I’ve come to realize, although in fear, My sea will rise from storms, or so I preach.

For sorrow breeds experience and gain Although the sea is stained with storms of strain.


Just Check The Box Kailah Strickland

I miss the days when borders didn’t exist. When playing in the sand didn’t require me to fit in. I could be myself, all that I am, more than this skin. But they say ignorance is bliss and that’s all childhood was. Some big dream meant to be broken. Racism didn’t exist to me, it was something lost, far beyond a young child’s reach. False compliments hollow like my understanding. Incomplete was my mind and so were the people around me. It’s like sleepwalking, calm and deep, being so lost in yourself that you forget what right is. Denying parts of myself that were deemed bad didn’t make me whole. Denying what I am doesn’t make me fit, when I am like a full grown monster trying to pass as her sweet grandmother. Words always sharp and rigid, stabbing through a false skin and me shedding or shining or something hopeful. Something, wanting this cocoon of confinement gone. “Mutt”, “Half-breed”, the new names that branded me by my collar as if I was the dog they dreamt up. Making friends was a game I didn’t know I knew how to play. I couldn’t talk to black children without being bourgeoisie, and I couldn’t talk to white kids without being the black sheep.


What is it about skin that makes me so foreign, so separate from the people around me? I am a foreigner. The alien with envied shape and form that they love in the dark but will deny when dawn breaks. Him, afraid to say my name even though it is the air in his lungs. Me and my melanin. When I was told to “…just check the box,” a blank washed over my being. I tripped over reasons and words, reaching out to her, trying to explain that I cannot. I can’t just mark myself false and turn it into truth. People tell us to think outside the box, but when you lie just outside the box you are not seen or recognized. You are this or that. I am this or that. I am white or black, because it is not possible or fathomable to mix red and white and make pink. This concept, this false truth will not sway me from burning down barriers. They will not stop me from marking myself a new home. I will not succumb to an artificial identity. I am me. I am more than four lying lines

that I will no longer lie behind.

Piece By Piece | Christina Bernadotte | Mixed Media


Silver & Gold | Jeysis Reyes | Mixed Media


Swarmed Ashley Perez Mournings begin with cold awakenings, the pale colours staining the skies. Lost between forests of myth and legend.

I find myself wandering, my thoughts become clouded with nights of whispers. As the truth spews out, Pouring in waterfalls, I see black. The pale skies have been tainted with Scorching falsity.

The sun sets earlier, where are my pale skies? Disconnection passes between myself, and the idea of me. The emptying vessel continues on, As it’s source scrutinizes every flaw.

I find myself lost, In a field of skies.


Eva Bibas For me, the ability to create art is one of the most outstanding qualities a human can possess. Art synthesizes our possibility to perceive beauty or pain, to change, to grow and to impact our societies. Through art I’m able to explore different themes, conflicts and interests of my life in a safe environment. Emotions, questions and dilemmas stay contained in the canvas. Art allows me to explore my own emotions and transformations, as all humans endure during our lifetimes. We also go through mental, societal, political, technological revelations, ad infinitum. I’ve gone through many transformations as well. Now that I just turned eighteen years old, I can look back at my own developments from childhood to adolescence from so many perspectives and hues.

One of the major areas of transformation in my life is related to my immigration to the United States from Venezuela when I was nine years old. I had to start a new life, learn a new language, adapt to a new culture and to the foreign systems of a new country, which were all unknown to me. My art goes through a progression of different stages, which parallels the processes of change and transformation. I integrate bits, pieces, and fragments of distinct original materials of my own creation. This includes items like painted fabrics, paintings, drawings, photographs of nature, mixtures of substances, paint and water. I put together a composition with these fundamental materials and then I transform them digitally by intervening the piece, using computer art software, until I arrive to a final image.

Art Piece Title | Artist Name | Art Medium

Endlessly | Eva Bibas | Digital Art

Enrapture | Eva Bibas | Digital Art

My aim is to create a final piece which reflects the transformation and evolution of the original pieces and materials.

The circular motif becomes more defined in my newer works and the compositions become more complex and intricate.

These were combined with the intent to evoke a modern feel. I like to print the final artworks in massive metal plates. The digital images printed over the metal plates intrigues the modern spectator. My art reflects the way human beings have grown a strong bond with technology.

Throughout my concentration, I also focus in developing depth within my work and as the circles become more defined, the depth in my pieces also become more pronounced and developed. My intention is to invite the spectator, when viewing my pieces, to have a present-day contemporary experience.

To unify my works I decided to include a circular composition within a rectangular plane. Circles can symbolize an endless number of concepts. From cycles to constant changes to infinite growth, there is no single representation.

Art reflects the society that we live in and through changing times and technologies, I want to create a visual language through digital art media in a form that countless of people can relate to.

It is my hope that my art creates a channel through which people can connect with themselves, other people and the world around them. I believe that a person must reflect deep within themselves, go through a constant struggle before finally being able to live as a transfigured individual in a modern society. A piece that reflects the construction of the inner persona in the same way that the core materials are used in my art. It parallels the hidden beauty within the patterns, colors, pictures and drawings of the initial composition of my pieces. It all comes down to growth and evolution –

the digital



Cigar Arlene Arevalo ​

Balding portly men grazing on the terrace, sluggish and lethargic. A cigar is held between their coffee-stained teeth, the pungent smell of tobacco intertwining with the sickly sweet scent of tequila. This is privilege, entitlement. They look across the vast fields at their workers, laborers slaving away until dark. Work Work

Working until their backs give out and they can give no more. A young laborer looks ahead at this boss, dozing off in the cool shade, the cigar left unattended. A gleam in his eye, the boy leaves his post on the field and sneaks over to the terrace, hungry for just a puff of that sweet-smelling cigar.

He inches closer, closer, closer And puff! It’s a success. He greedily sucks on the rich fog, its aura enveloping him. His family vanishes, obscured by the smoke. Who are they? Just some mulattoes on his field. He’s better than them all. After all, he’s the one with the cigar.



Gr ow th |

Em mi

Ava lo

s|W hite

Pen on

Blac k Paper

Privilege of Individuality Arlene Arevalo

Hair. My curls cascade around my face, a picture frame. She told me to love myself, but I would see

strand by strand. That was another world, and here I

her labor away, painstakingly straightening each

stand, proud of these “unruly” ringlets. Each one is a

strand until the curls lost life and turned limp like

snowflake, and I’m not about to let myself blend into

overcooked noodles. I grew up accustomed to the

the background, another puff of snow in a blanket of

smell of burning hair and ironing products; there

white. Despite popular belief, idealistic expectations

was only one kind of hair acceptable: pin straight.

are unrealistic. Each day that I wear my curls, I

But it wasn’t supposed to be like this. They were told

defy society’s strictures. By setting rigid standards,

curls were unruly, i​ mmigrant. Straightened hair was

the world fails to recognize the broad spectrum

polished, educated.

of beauty. I am more than my hair, but without it,

My mom came from the Dominican Republic to


the sink each night, concealing pieces of her life

a part of me disappears. My mother conformed

seek better opportunities, and she wasn’t going to let

to grant me the privilege of individuality. This is

hair - despite how ridiculous the notion - impede

for m ​ ami, and all the people who never gave her a

her from reaching her goal. So there she’d stand over

second chance.

Feel Yourself | Melanie Chong-Qui | Photography


Weigh Me Down Nicole Marino

weigh me down with hefty words that carry lily petals and rain drops whisper promises to be broken fill the gaps with utters of affection let me breathe them in trap them in my lungs inhale and exhale letters, before you rearrange them trapping vowels in my lips tying consonants around my tongue tasting the sweetness of compliments you didn’t mean I pretend the volume of this silence drowns out the desperation of your departure



Drowning | Isabel Cataneda | Acrylic



Here But I’m Gone | Cloe Leclerc | Photography

T h e Dream’s Dream | Cloe Leclerc | Photography



Jose | Erika Cantin | Enamel Paint and Oil bars on Canvas

Nick | Erika Cantin | Enamel Paint and Oil bars on Paper


Forgive me, Father Lianne D’Arcy

Candles yawn and bright eyes dull. It is getting late. She turns to me and her words sink into me fast, like jewelry dropped into the ocean. Gone before you even register the splash. “Do you think God believes in us back?” I know how the answer will taste on my tongue before it reaches my throat. Wine gone sour. Communion gone stale. I feel His gaze on me, weighing me down. How He wants me to answer, how I am supposed to answer. I feel my mother’s hard stare as I am dragged to Sunday school, her nails digging into my wrist and her heels digging into the dirt. I feel my heart in my throat when I reach my uncle’s hospital bed knowing I am seeing him for the last time. I feel the indents carved into my skin from the rosary I grasp too tightly. I see the colors I create from the pressure to my flesh. White. Red. I feel the ache in my grandmother’s knees when she presses her hands together at bedside for too long. I see the look in my mother’s eyes when she tells me God is everywhere, the same one in my father’s when he tells me God does not exist. I am hyper aware of God’s proximity to me. He is as far as the sun but as close as the rays on my bare skin. I close my eyes, sigh, and open them again. I stare at the ceiling, not at the sky. “Go to sleep.”


Red Liberty | Ilona Arwacher | Digital Photography


Pink Lemonade | S ydn ey

Sh a

r ffe

Scorched Earth Melany Campoalegre

The sun gleamed against the burnt ocean that puddled between us. The salt, thick on the rough skin of my forehead, trickled down the expanse of my nose, clogging the pores along the bridge of it. The air reeked of burning rubber and rotting flesh. The sky resembled the raw surface of my exposed knees, sun burnt and scratched, indents of minuscule granules peppered their cracked exterior. The bones underneath bounced to the rhythm of my discomfort and the recklessness of your driving. I heard the crack before I saw it, the disembowelment of the Earth’s cavernous interior. The cacophonous sound of the split of the ground resembled the cracking of bones against constricting cement, the heavy noise of a tense jaw as it broke marble teeth with consistent grinding. I felt the crack before I saw it; the vibrations crashed against the very ends of my spinal cord, kicking at my ribs and caging my lungs. The force of the wreckage razed the wall of silence between us, the one we built so carefully and forcibly to maintain our decaying sanity. Ruined. Then I saw it. The salient split apparent to the naked eye screamed at us so loudly that your usual radical speed came to a sudden stop. The prominent boundary rested against the molten rock. Ragged and abused. I reached out to touch its angry scars and short summits, to feel the hardness of separation. It left ruby wounds on my palms resembling the scars you left but now filled with frothy venom.


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Grapefruit | Sydney Shaff er

Gouache on Medium Density Fiber Board


Rage | Cassandra Zuria | Digital Art

Here We Are Carlo Servito

To the end and to the start as far as the earth and sky meet, is an emptiness that surrounds us and holds us by our feet. Humanity: the master, the mother. Value: the servant, the child,

The child’s uncles, aunts, and cousins murder each other for what it cherishes, vacant land to golden carriages. Humanity the hypocrite, The most exotic of things are held the tightest, yet the most diverse of people are not regarded.

drowns in its grasp all that can be or is, on behalf of its master. In time, becomes, assigned, to the blackest, darkest and most “insignificant” to the lightest, reflective and most “priceless”.

Still, here we are.

The rarest and most unique, the higher the price is.

Yet across from me, through the transparency of reality, is myself in another, a stranger, my neighbor, my brother. The most unique and rarest creation in all of this world.

All that is has its place, on the handcrafted totem. The child’s uncles, aunts, and cousins die when it has too tight, too loose of a grasp. The noose gets tighter fast.

Searching, through desolate space for things that separate us, through barren wastelands for possessions to satisfy the child’s appetite now more infinite than the sky.

Yet here we are. That which we gave power, separates us from one another. The child has now become the mother.


Taboo Fabrics

An Interview with Nathalie Rivera By Jevon Brown From as long as she can remember, Nathalie Rivera

If there is one word Nathalie uses to describe her

has always been drawn to art and to creating new

work, it’s Taboo. I asked her personally what she

things. Being in an art magnet program throughout

would like people to get from her art and she replied,

elementary, middle, and high school has allowed her

“I want people to be shocked; I want people to see that

to flourish as an artist. Now, as a junior in the Visual

social norms don’t always have to be conformed to.”

and Performing Arts Academy at Coral Reef High School, studying art two hours a day has allowed her to transform seemingly impossible ideas into reality. Among aspects that have influenced her work, her

“Art is very personal to the artist and reflects us and how we feel and interpret the world.”

exploration of patterning in India has made a major impact. “I’ve seen a lot of documentaries on how the

“Even today, women are not seen equal to men.

creation of patterning developed in India, and that has

My art is meant to showcase the beauty of the female

influenced the way I do my patterns. I use a natural

body and to empower all women alike.” Nathalie

process by creating my prints by hand instead of using

shares, “The fact that I show my work as nudes may be


seen as objectifying; yet, I feel that it is emphasizing

Nathalie begins a new fabric piece by creating an

the empowerement of the female body, the producer

image of a female silhouette. Then, she transfers the

of life. It’s truly beautiful in its self and does not

image onto a linoleum plate, carves the image out of

deserve to be covered up.”

fabric, and creates a new pattern. “I don’t do a layout.

Her use of nude imagery is what makes her work

I just go with the motions of the design to create a

unconventional. It may be something that society

cohesive pattern.”

does not fully accept and embrace, but as Nathalie

She expressed her frustration with how the nude

has said, “My artistic outlook is to take risks and not

body of a woman is automatically deemed provocative

allow others to dictate what I should do in my art

and distasteful. According to Nathalie, the fabrics are

throughout life. Art is very personal to the artist and

supposed to be ironic. In showcasing nude images of

reflects us and how we feel and interpret the world. As

women on a cloth, supposedly created to “cover up”

an artist, I want to break down barriers that are placed

and prevent the exposure of their bodies, the purpose

around society in current day and live in a world

of the fabric is contradicted.

where I can create my own path in life.”


TNA | Nathalie Rivera | Ink on Fabric

On my Knees | Nathalie Rivera| Ink on Fabric

Pigmented Augmentation Sarah Gouriche i know what pain tastes like — reminiscent of the shameless, bittersweet rust of stainless steel.

so tell me why should i let someone else paint a picture of suffering when I know very damn well, how the maiden’s caress feels upon my innocent fate?

i’ll inscribe my own bleached image and lazily paint, my own ivory doomed tragedy.

his infamy will be lost between limitless coats of pure snow, of unaltered white.

i’ll pour every bit of myself onto his canvas built upon fear, erasing whoever has come before me.


Je Me Cherche | Cloe Leclerc | Acrylic


Isabela Casanova I can’t hear them from here. I’m grateful. My

worth His attention; I never lived out the fairy

whole life has been, for as long as I can remember,

tale of being loved by Him. I would put my hands

one long and convoluted hymn. It’s nice to have

together in prayer, palms slick with sweat; I would

some silence.

thank Him before every meal; I would whisper His

I take a pause, wiping my brow and sitting on a

name as I stained my pillows with tears.

ladder rung. The wall is huge, but I’ve made decent

He never answered.

progress. The past few hours have been long and

When I was young, I sang praise to Him,

taxing. My hair is curling into my eyes; my face

thanking Him for all I had.

is shiny and pink. My pants are grimy. The room

I am left with nothing now.

smells like sweat and paint fumes. My muscles burn,

She is supposed to be a mother to all. I see

and I can hear my heartbeat in my ears with every

nothing but an old, worn out tapestry as I grasp the


brush and coat it in white. Soon She disappears, wet

Looking into Her eyes, I don’t know what to feel. The Virgin looks at peace, Her subjects resting on clouds before Her flowing robes and open arms. She’s beautiful and for a moment, I almost feel bad. But what has She ever done for me?

paint on the wall and running in rivulets down my arms. They say The Creator made the universe in seven days. I’ve done that in the span of a few hours. As I work my way down the ladder, I smile.

For that matter, what has He ever done for me? When I was young I read all of the verses; I sang all of the songs. He never stopped the tragedy; the pain and the suffering. In my life, I’ve never been


God is dead. I am the creator, now.

Hopeful Light | Kristin Davis| Acrylic on Black Canvas


Look up! | Jeysis Reyes | Mixed Media


Emmi Avalos My bare feet graze the faded marble face, Whose cracked eyes and misshapen Nose reveal its age My toes know their face better Than perhaps they even knew themselves, But that is all I know of them Unaware of the ancient history, I play Upon their graves and the dry sand Winded and wild The sun beats heavily on my back An eternity spent Them with me and me with them My feet make the deep connect And although I do not know Their names Soon enough I will learn And join them The vicious cycle Finally broken when those Who live a life on the bottom tier Stand on top of the heads of giants



Ismary Guardarrama

big, boisterous, brawny bricklayers brusquely bear the burdens of their day and shed the rust and dust of bickering tasks that brought about their pay with calloused hands that feel not much and inflict enough in a way to isolate, ostracize, and eliminate all of the fears of yesterday and build the walls that brick by brick they tediously lay, which keeps all fragilities and vulnerabilities away for a man does not dwell in sentimental frays despite stress and strife, they may allay but cloud judgement and lead astray a man turned castaway or turned playfellow deep within valleys of volcanoes amidst hibiscus sprinkled meadows where midday strolls are free from the shadows that often taunt and haunt those who wish to grow, and liberate, release, and emancipate an emotional outflow that croons to every detail of leaf and stem and petal and rose and softens skin to the smoothest sheets of silk that emulates a scenario of the soft, sensual, siren who sighs, sifting through the air like smoke halos and cleanses her spirit, her body, her soul as she casts gazes at those who amble below.


Trapped in Sight | Emily Ehlen | Ink and Spraypaint on Paper

An Invisible Cage | Emily Ehlen | Ink and Spraypaint on Paper



Toxic Smile | Jasmine Valdes | Photography

Split Lianne D’Arcy You are embedded in me like paint under my

you now, in this car, with ten fingers extended towards

fingernails. Thick, syrupy, bloody paint. Endless

your burning touch, I will sour my senses. I will sear

cycles of vigorous scrubbing leave my hands red and

my skin. Though you are currently only one breath

raw. They taste bittersweet.

away, I realize we were closer then than we are now.

My knuckles transform from crimson to white as

My mind wanders further as images grow fainter in

they curl tightly around the steering wheel. Silence

my rearview mirror. I wonder which places I have

pierces the atmosphere between us, almost tangible.

already visited for the last time. My childhood home,

The cracking pavement rips beneath our car as my

my mother’s grave, your aching heart. I cannot live

foot steadily presses on the accelerator. We tear

in those places anymore. I used to hurt for you like a

through the earth and sky in our car. The bookends

quitter’s cigarette aches. Now I am trapped, hurtling

of the universe. Faster and faster we go until the

at 70 miles per hour towards the apocalypse. I stare at

painting around us smears. Outside our window is

the road ahead. I feel it stare back.

nothing but a blurry whisper. My thoughts deepen;

I worry that if I were to ever leave and build a

my feelings fade. I think back to when we first met, a

new home for myself, one without cracks in the

curtain of smoke dividing us on the side of the road

foundation, I would feel you in the walls at night.

after an angry crash. I could barely see you then, a


ghostly silhouette against the skyline. If I reach for


A Shot at Life Upon my reflection

I stand.

And there, my worst enemy awaits me. His crooked smile, His crooked stance, A mere manifestation of the lingering shadow that was his character. Some might say the stare was enough to kill

a man.

Rugged, like wind against the Andes Mountains. Vigorous, like crashing Whitewater rapids upon rocks. The unpleasant absence of noise suddenly destroyed by a cacophony of cluttering hooves, of drunken shouts, of roaring thunder,

Shot into the dark silence that was my image. Tonight the air is opaque like thick, stormy clouds. Though I cannot see, my nose is not blind to the clouds’ smoky tint, the fierce scent of burning fire before the phoenix rising from the ashes. Slowly, the clouds drift to reveal an unusual night in the room. Some might look to the sky, but, I can only see the constellations in the mirror, the holes that guide me in the right direction. Now that the enemy is shattered, this is the beginning

of a new reflection.


Maria Medina

Icon | Marissa Diaz | Acrylic on Mirror



Cassandra Zuria | Twilight | Digital Art


Chrysanthemums Stephanie Woolley-Larrea

Driving home, we pass a cemetery peppered with flowers— purple, yellow, pink on green.

“That would be a good job, planting all those flowers,” Amelia declares from the back, a five-year-old’s quest for future employment.

How I want to see the world as she does, not as a constant economic struggle but as an easy balance of happiness.

I want to be with her, as she moves through the grass, ignoring headstones in favor of the empty plastic vases.


I’m On e| Fir ad Gu pe alu o|

Ca ry Ac lic C ck Bla on as anv

Peanut | Guadalupe Cao | Acrylic on Black Canvas

& Me e Fri My s nd da ua |G e lup o| Ca ry Ac lic C ck Bla on vas an Smartartiarti | Guadalupe Cao | Acrylic on Black Canvas


Newborn Poet Kamila Hernandez

I remember the first time I discovered poetry, bolts of electric affluenza coursing through soft fingertips and into the skinny blue lines of fascination meaning nothing at first, yet transforming into the spillage of emotion, the invention of color, the budding metamorphosis of the artist’s apprehension. I remember telling everyone about the honeytainted metaphors that exhaled yellow pigment through our film noir madness of ravaged years cementing over irises and I remember the revelation, saucer eyes and trembling hands, after discovering the faultlessness of magic that tore at heartstrings and furrowed brows, the mumbled prayers of stitching entire blankets of words together to keep our souls warm even as the frigid ice of Time burned in desperation to freeze our heartbeats. You are a poet but to the world, you are wasted opportunity you only know of words that slip through tied tongues like silk and mending excuses to make up for heartbreak You are a poet but they never stop reminding you to keep your feet glued

Etoile | Kristin Davis | Acrylic on Black Canvas


To hollow ground, shaking To find something that’s taste of reality, the human flesh sweat of long lost longing You have to stop living in your head In the space where you breathe life into promises You are a poet But that has never been enough. The poet is used to this— the knowledge of failure always shoved under the doormat numbers that collect under crumpled paper, the rotten look of misunderstanding at they wonder where the science of living went missing. When did art decide to invade your insides, Leaving no room to calculate meaning with mathematics? Oh, but only the poets understand That there is no formula to meaning No theorem to calculate suffering, Only words that get stuck and disintegrate into whispers only all-consuming madness, write me a storm That rages through afflictions Write me an ending where We are older, in the house we dreamed of, buried Under blankets in the forgotten fog of Decembers Write me an ending where my voice is steady Instead of constantly wavering past the silence of goodbyes hellos heartaches Love me And I will love you Lose me And I will turn you into poetry stretch your bones into feelings, follow the lines in your palms into futures Where we end up together I will hold up your eyelids So they will never feel heavy at the sight of destruction I will shelter your heart to keep it beating As we watch as the words I could never say Flutter at your fingertips like moths With broken wings. The world does not understand love nor the poets that create it.


Eighteen For: Tiffany

Anaï Gressier

An eternal doze with scattered dreams as if machines had control as if Summer stayed as if darkness escaped through light Like a man lost at sea I stood alone on the island I am asleep Time A prolonged nap with sounds of whispers with lopsided smiles with pinching and poking washed off nail polish with knotted hair with colorful patches of skin Looking for help Searching for aid on an inhabitable island I am asleep Time Unconscious like a monkey stuck in a trap one hand stuck and another Marā gets an opportunity, Buddha says I must not roam in another’s domain, Buddha says I must stay in my own natural territory tears fall I can hear you Patience Absent in reaction Present at mind like blue lips to pink like 2 breaths to 20 like closed eyes to open Am I asleep?


Inner Mechanism | Connor Albright | Ink Drawing

The Things I Used to Know

The Spot | Sabrina Vega | Gouache

Kailah Strickland


When I was little I used to believe That God came out of my belly button And saved my life. That he flowed from my tiny New body and covered me In faith, love, or whatever. Else, my grandmother, Drank in the morning. She was the most faithful person I’d ever met. Beautifully believing in The tiniest ounce Of chance at life that I had. The truth of it is, she Loved me before I metastasized into Any being worth loving. I was her world. The sun and earth, the stars and the ocean, bubbling and burping happily In this body of a baby. All dreams and love Blossomed into body. Hatred and evil Became desolate and Could no longer reign. I used to believe in Santa Clause Until one day my God brother Totally ruined that for me, Totally crushing my Little girl heart. I used to believe that if I closed my eyes And counted to 1, 2, 12 that All my problems Would swirl and curl Into the sky. I used to believe, When I was nine years old,

That running barefoot Through the freshly Cut grass of My grandmother’s lawn Would make me fly. That I’d turn into A bird with Great wings And a wild fierce heart, Able to soar over all the bad And beautifully broken. I used to believe That my grandmother was a superhero. And that she would live forever. I knew people died, But I didn’t know They didn’t live again. I didn’t know That I’d never spray Her orange blossom Perfume on me. I didn’t Know I would never brush Her hair again. I didn’t Know she’d never Hold me when the World went black. I didn’t know she Couldn’t save me From the crashing Waves all around me, The ones that tried Drowning me that one time. The bathtub felt so big, Bigger than any ocean I’d Ever seen in my life. I didn’t know waking up Would feel like falling down Through my own head And back out into Oblivion. The type of darkness that Only you know. The one That draws us in,

The mourning magnets To reveal the hollow Emptiness that you Thought only You could feel. I didn’t know One million and one Things before the ground Tore open and laughed When I tried to climb back up. But I did know How to remember being 5, 9, and 12 And how you felt In the morning And who you wanted to be. I knew how to love the sun In all its glory. I knew how to Exist when my Memories didn’t want to. I knew how To know you When you Didn’t even Happen. And now I’ve molded into Meaningful moments And soft songs sung In my slumber Because you’ve Remained in my heart Between the Crevices and cracks, And so have those Sweet smiles That etched themselves Into the corners Of my mind. The forgotten ones That grinned eternally For all the world to see.


Merrily Tune Merrily Tune by Dija Thomas. An original composition


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2016 To listen to Dija Thomas’ Composition, see the QR code on the inside of the back cover.

  

 63


Bedtime Stories American Dreams

I come from a long line of criminals.

Ismary Guardarrama

After our failure to cross, my mother went to prison sixteen times: sixteen times for sixteen attempts at escaping the country. I spent a majority of my second year of life living with my grandparents while my mother fought the chains, both physical and political, that had been inherently placed on her and her children. She told me about the rusty, sharp metal of the cells, how you could place your hands through the bars and run the risk of slicing a finger. She said, “This is what freedom is about. No matter how badly you cut up your hand, as long as you get to the other side, you will be OK.” Eventually, we got to the other side. I never knew the privation the at chains as

As far back as I can remember, my childhood was peppered with stories from within barred cells and windowless rooms. While most kids were put to bed with tales of brave knights and damsels in distress, I was lulled to sleep with narratives of cold halls and strange characters. These weren’t, however, your typical delinquents. The first criminal I came across in my life had soft, blue eyes and a tender smile. His alabaster hair made it seem like it was snowing year round, even in Miami; his voice, the honey that attracted my curiosity like bees. My grandfather was not a man of many words, but the words he did say stuck with “We could look me for an entire lifetime. He was relics of the past. We could “criminals” in my family endured a political prisoner in a country tell our children bedtime growing up. I never had to steal food that preached its independence stories that didn’t center on or fight for my freedom of speech. while placing chains on anyone our imprisonment, rather Instead, I went to sleep each night that dared defy the status quo. My our liberation.” with a new account of a moment abuelo, a simple man from the of sacrifice that got me to the countryside, did what few had the courage to do in such a tumultuous time in Cuba: he spoke country where I am today. It was these bedtime stories that out. Then he suffered for it. eventually became my dreams for the future. I was molded My father also saw time within a cell, albeit much shorter by individuals who had done the impossible and had placed and for an entirely different reason. After mustering up the something bigger than themselves over their own wants and courage to leave behind a life he had built full of success as needs. I was led to believe that I had the world at the tip of a world-renown doctor, my father decided to flee the largest my finger and I could change it all if I wanted. island prison in the world for his family. We made it to the As a child, my dreams were full of hypotheticals in which Mexican-American border during our first immigration I was the president of a New Cuba. In this land, nobody attempt as a family: my mother, father, brother, and I. My starved and nobody protested. We lived harmoniously in father was somehow allowed to go through, but we were a place where democracy and the freedom of expression kept back as “bait” to encourage him to return to Cuba. My thrived. We could look at chains as relics of the past. We parents agreed that he would stay and my mother would try could tell our children bedtime stories that didn’t center on again. The first three nights my father spent in the United our imprisonment, rather our liberation. We could go to States were in a cold, white prison cell. They gave him a sleep knowing that even when we woke up, the American McDonalds’ burger and a can of Coca-Cola and said, “Welcome to the United States.” Dream was waiting for us.


Sunset Palm Trees | Emily Ehlen | Ink and Spraypaint on Paper


Ray of Sunshine | Juliette Valdes

Who Are You?

Color Pencil on Medium Density Fiber Board

Juliette Valdes

My central idea for my concentration is to capture each individual person’s strongest


threw into her irises a goldish yellow to symbolize the Sun and her bright personality.

emotions by using strong colors as a symbol of that

People’s souls are in their eyes trying to come

emotion. I learned that each spirit, seen the same

out through a small black hole in the center. Their

way I envision them, can be expressed through the

emotions and pasts seem to just play back on the

color by showing it more vibrantly and detailed

glossy round surface of each iris. My only issue

than the skin surrounding them. For example,

was trying to express each of those traits through

Ray of Sunshine is of my sister who has a painfully

each individual’s eyes. When you look someone in

optimistic personality, and normally a person

the eyes, you not only show them respect, you also

like her would be labeled a “ray of sunshine.” So I

accept the pieces of their displayed soul.


Envy | Juliette Valdes

Chilled | Juliette Valdes

Stained | Juliette Valdes

Irate | Juliette Valdes

Miss Mysterious | Juliette Valdes

Moony | Juliette Valdes

How it Feels to Be _____ Me Luis Colli


here is no single word that can be placed

belong has proven a challenge, one that has been never

in that blank that can encompass me, a

endingly futile; I myself lack complete comprehension of

fact I know not for lack of trying. There

who I am. Born in Caracas, Venezuela; our mountains

are no pages that hold the truth to me like some Dickens

flowed with crude oil we could make no profit from.

novel. Whether I am the hero of this tale, or someone

Moved to the United States when I was two; too young to

else holds that station, this does not have the time to tell.

understand that I didn’t belong to the land under my feet

To tell people where I am from or who I am or where I

or that the language, pouring from my tongue, was not the one of my family. Again at 4, I moved, this time to Mexico, right at the capital; I learned a Spanish, again, not the one from my family but one from a faraway nation, with a culture that never belonged to me. When I was six, I returned to where my days began, to be told I was not Venezuelan. I would call my cousins “vato” instead of “chamo”. I would prefer chilaquiles over arepas. I did not know the national anthem of my country, but that of one to whom I was nearly a onetime vagabond. At no point has this ever been acceptable, I had truly fallen under the title of a bastard, not to a family, not to a nation, but to all. The first wound to my bastard heart: during my time at


Driven | Gisel Anuez | Acrylic

the place I thought to call home first. At the age of five, I

had no clue I had come from another country. My mother

one who did not want me, and adopted by another who

spoke Spanish out of poor coincidence; my father’s

never included me in his final will and testament. I did

English was different to mine out of nothing more but

not fit, I did not belong, I was different to both.

mere chance. This land, the soil underneath my weight, the one my feet pound on as I run, where the blood from my knees dripped after the endless scratches earned from learning how to ride a bicycle. This land guaranteed one promise: the chance, opportunity, availability, to be anything you wish to be. I was told of these large ideas, with no idea that I truly have understood the implications of these ideals of this land, at 5-years of age, the concept of freedom and opportunity never being the priority of the rest of my peer. These ideas slipped into my head,

“I did not fit; I did not belong. I was different.” presented through a book, and it took the dreams of most children, and carved it into my essence. I did not ask to be a leader, indeed it had never been a passion, but it had become a calling. The promise this land, the one that permitted me lead to the highest degree, had become a guarantee for me. A year later, I was informed this was a lie due to the ever so simple fact of where I was born, to be more accurate, due to where I was not born. An arrow was launched from the books of laws, into my heart, where my first wound still lies. I would actually never be the leader of this land, of any land, I was son of

The second wound to my bastard heart: during the time where I set foot on a stepping stone of a land. Mexico proved to be a beautiful time in my life. Art found its way into my life, all of the arts, the definition of the arts. Exposure to men and women, members of a society unlike any other that brought wonder, and so much pain, into my life. Frida Kahlo gave pain a name and face, the Beatles a new soundtrack for love and life, food opened the idea of ingredients and spices, and shows with kings and queens, princes to act, over ran my life. I saw these arts as inspiration and sought to be part of this society that served with no ties to land. For the first time, the possibility of a place to lead and excel seemed closer than before, until I found there was already clear and ultimate leader. I saw, for the first time, the work of the Elizabethan power of pros, poems, and pureness. Their leader, William Shakespeare, is what art stands for, and the fact his works have been engraved into time has proven this fact. This second wound came after seeing his most lustrous play, Hamlet, and comprehending fully that I will never be him, be like him. Not truly a goal, of course – recreation is no better than imitation, and imitation is just flattery and I do not search to flatter but to prove – simply gave a bar. A standard that needed to


be followed. Again, an arrow was flung, and it may have

wounds. Much how scars add to the face, these wounds

been braver to suffer this arrow in the mind, but the

added to me. You see me now, in front of most other

arrow still stung; the rip now serving often as a reminder

humans, and none of these wounds had become truly

that the likelihood of being on the caliber, will not come

lethal. I have not been denied the values I hold dear. I

true. Even the chances of joining the smallest of caliber

have developed a stance of leadership, giving no doubt

in this field, serves as a reminder of another nation that

that it may not be a tasked I asked for, but truly has

seeks nothing from me.

become a task that has been endowed to me. The bastard

The third wound to my bastard heart: back at the nation where it began. The search for identity it still resisting eluted me, and the tie that is known as the familial bond is one of the upmost important. The chance, the opportunity to connect to a nation grew again, my heart beat strengthen as the blood in my family saw the chance to find its others. Your heritage, bloodline, connection to your past. These all serve as the net which catches the possible debris of your life. Families cling to their principles due to that mere fact that they are families and their principles hold them together. As I arrived back to Venezuela when I was 6, I walked the line with no net, the family had not seen me, they did not know me. They wanted nothing to do with the members that left their side early on. I was a stranger to them, and they strangers to me. An arrow slung out from the book of life, form a chapter holding my families name, into my heart. I found myself, again, not wanted. The wounds to my bastard heart, well bandaged: The development of character, however, come from these


son of no nation, has become a proud owner of vagabond shoes; soles with the souls of those who did not live for a house to call a home, but rather searched for adventure outside their doors. The slings and arrows of a family that asks nothing to do with me, developed into skin of steel,

“I walked the line with no net.� protecting the softer demeanor, held by the fact that my wounded heart still bleeds for love. I know not what to say to conclude a study of me, by now, however, let it be known that I am not alone. No one single human can ever be determined by a single word; and even though some may choose to identify with a single word, I am too aware of the condition of humanity to promote the ever impossible belief that the entirety of one human can be defined by a dictionary.

Sacrifice | Gisel Anuez | Acrylic


Open Field | Jasmine Valdes | Photography


Pine Nuts

Alexandra Sandoval The pine nuts were long and white. Their taste, fruity and buttery between my lips and on my tongue. They were grown in Lebanon, matured on a rooftop. The seeds remind me of my grandmother, not just because she used to cook with them, but rather because she no longer cooks with them. Looking up pine nuts, I stumble upon dissonance, incongruence: Celebration. Longevity. Immortality. That is what the pine tree claims. Yet today, Lebanon bids its white gold goodbye, not because it can live without it, but because it must. That is how I live without her. Because I must. I welcome her memory into my mind, pausing to picture her as the liquid emotions settle I think about how to embody her essence, how to symbolize her spirit, how to represent her roots. I ponder how to paint her portrait with the colors of the Lebanese sky. I look to limn her loveliness. To my young eyes, she was the pine tree of fables. She was the light of any room, she was the most youthful laugh, she was the constant of my juvenile life. Now I see, she was a simple seed. She wasn’t eternal, but she was mine.


Grass | Joey Cramer | Acrylic


The Sport Is For Respect | Samantha Smith | Gouache | Scholastics Art and Writing Awards Silver Key with Distinction


Paths of Glory Diego Velazquez

“On les aura!” Countless generations of Frenchmen had gone to war with this battle cry,

to spend my time trying to help an old man tell his story.

meaning, “We’ll get them!” Amongst them was a

It was silly and extremely late, but I began

native of a small Breton town, a young man who

to investigate. All I had to do was look, and

had grasped at the first opportunity he had to

suddenly I realized how much information lay

help rid France of her German invaders. The year

at my feet. My grandfather had left no shortage

was 1944, and that man was my grandfather. I can

of letters from the war, indeed from throughout

recount most of his story and tell others of his

his lifetime. Some described the boring pace of

actions during the monstrous calamity that was

life at the barracks square, some the fear he felt at

the Second World War, but for a time it was not

jumping out of a plane with a flimsy parachute for

so. When Bernard Saloux passed away in 2014,

the first time. I learned that as a member of the 1st

the period of his life between 1944 and 1946 was

Chasseurs Parachutistes (paratroopers) he very

a mystery to the entire family.

quickly got accustomed to the jolting of a cargo

I had always intended to have a sit down with

vehicle and the rush of air and adrenaline that

my grandfather, to get him to open up about the

tends to follow jumping out of a moving plane;

war and maybe even record what he said. Like

yet, that initial fear never left him. Some letters

most other teens however, I believed that I had all

were addressed to my grandmother and I was

the time in the world to get it done. Undoubtedly,

rather surprised (as well as uncomfortable) to see

I would definitely talk to him next summer, or

what twenty somethings write to their beloveds

the one after, at the least; however, life has an

after long periods apart. Others still smelled of

unfortunate tendency to muck up such intentions

pine and dirt from a stint in the Argonne forest.

(as Moltke said, “No plan survives first contact

Nothing was dated from late January 1945, when

with the enemy!”). I felt a deep sense, not of loss,

the unit participated in the bloody campaign to

but of regret. All that this man had done would

clear the Vosges. I realized how stupid I had been,

be forgotten in the chasms of history, eclipsed by

as someone who claims to be so enthralled by

more important events. It is the nature of time

history, not to have recognized this great source

that everything fades, and I had been too selfish

of information under my very nose.


The Mud Bench

Emmi Avalos

the cold grass under my toes cold tile too a barefoot family dirty feet under the table a sign of familiarity shoes always by the door a reminder of who is in the house and who is gone as I step in, I see their faces in the laces their tongues speak to me of who lived there how old, how many, how cold ten sneakers, five pairs of shoes big, small, a faded remembrance of white black earth left in the soul like their toes natural and bare my family makes home feel like home and when those who feel better than the dirt we all come from wear shoes into our house they become outsiders in our smelly heaven


Many Wrinkles in Many Feet | Sabrina Vega | Graphite on Paper


Outside the Box

An Interview with Kailah Strickland By Mariana La Puente Kailah Strickland, a talented junior in the Visual and Performing Arts program at Coral Reef High School, is unapologitcally truthful when it comes to her poetry. Her works express the struggles she has encountered with self-identity over the years and how she ultimately overcame them. I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with her; we laughed, we sighed, and we came to the realization that we can never know the happy medium between realism and optimism. However, it’s undeniable that Kailah’s work is amazing! Here, she shares her inspirations, experiences with writing, and future endeavors.

When did you start writing?

How would you describe your writing process?

I didn’t really start concentrating on writing until I was in the 6th grade. I hadn’t experienced any occasions that could’ve inspired some writing that was worth an audience.

My writing process is very sporadic. I just write down as quickly as I can. Certain phrases come to me when I hear a specific song or if a memory resurfaces. Random things will inspire an idea and then I just go from there.

Who or what would you cite as your writing inspirations?

Do you have a particular goal with your writing?

Most of my writing comes from the sadness and my journey out of depression. My grandmother passed away when I was 12 years old and she was my best friend. We were kindred spirits, and when you lose a part of yourself, you transform into someone new. I’ve noticed your poetry expresses coming of age themes and self-identity. What attracts you to these subjects? It’s mostly the passing of my grandmother. I grew up quickly in my mind, but it was negative thoughts that filled my head most of the time. I’ve had to grow in ways I feel like some of my friends haven’t had to, so if I can find a way to express myself I do that through music or writing.


Of course I would want to touch my audience, but my writing is more of a personal thing — it’s liberating and cathartic. It’s really a selfish hobby for me. I’m not intentionally trying to send a message but if I do then I’m giving more than I thought I could. What is writing to you? Why did you begin to write? Writing is therapeutic... except for AP Lang which is what puts you into therapy. I began to write because I wanted to write music, but my lyrics transformed into poetry so that’s what I stick to now. Tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind “Just Check the Box”? I wrote this when I was 14. I had to fill out my AP paperwork for my AP World History class. When I got

to the section about race, I was unsure of what to put. It made me remember the times when I was little when they marked me as African American on my emergency contact card. This upset me because my mother is white and I felt like I was lying about who I was. It isn’t a thing of shame about me being part black it’s more of a thing of accepting myself as a whole — something I’ve always struggled with. But now, I’m done not loving or accepting myself. What is some advice you would share with those who are going through a similar self-identity struggle? I would tell them to accept themselves. Be who you are and don’t be untruthful about yourself just to satisfy someone else. At the end of the day, the only person you will always be stuck with is yourself. Personally, I’d rather be happy with myself than have someone else be satisfied by my silence. Tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind “The Things I Used To Know”? It involves my grandmother. It’s basically the story of my change before and after she died and how I viewed

the world around me. It shows my transition from a bright person to someone filled with absolute and complete sadness who is trying to find that balance between optimism and realism. Which is where I’m at in life right now. Have you written other poems dedication to people in your life? Yes! Before leaving middle school, I wrote a whole series of poems for my friends who I was leaving behind. I gave it to them because they were there during a really hard part of my life. So what’s next for you in terms of writing? I considered pursuing a career in writing a lot in middle school, but now that I’m developing artistically more as a musician, I think that I will just continue writing as a hobby. It’s hard for me to connect my writing with music so I just do both seperately. Even so, I would want to continue writing because, like I said, it’s very therapeutic.

Portrait of Kailah Strickland | Audrey Daugherty | Digital Photography


The Oasis L’Amat Rosales The gliding leaf cares about no borders. Gliding through the air, it continues its way until it is forced to stop. Wanderers glide like the leaf. Through the storms of frozen tundra to those of a desert, they seek libation. The difference is present in nature. The leaf will never know why it stopped, but it will never hesitate to go with the first chance the wind blows. A wandering man walks in cautious ways, hesitating to move as the wind blows. He seeks refuge away from the storm, accompanied by his trusted brethren. Little did they know their final trial had begun the second they unintentionally formed an oasis with the strange personages across the rift. The story of fire and ice inscribed in the minds of those who chose to turn their head from the storm. The encounter between sand and snow tests the nature of he who is wandering this world. Change will not occur until the wanderer loses his tether and becomes like the leaf.


Fountain | Leira Padron | Cardboard Sculpture


An Innocent Dip Kasia Bezen

Rainbow In a Bowl | Gabriella Torres | Acrylic On Papaer


Gleaming water is a sight pleasant to all But a touch refreshes old feelings.

A man Stares into the diamond waters and wonders.

His coat lies on the sullen branches Exhausted from wear and tear. This coat has seen too many cries of brave men, pierce of bullets through fragile flesh. He feels the fearful shivers of his owner straight from the nerve. He cushions the stock of a mass produced rifle And is bruised by every recoil. This coat lay wondering when his suffering will be rewarded by a peaceful spot in the closet.

A woman Looks into the crystal waters and dreams.

Her sister lies on the lifeless shore Attempting to tan evenly. This sister has endured too much ideals of obedience A restless struggle of appearance She hears the heavy weight of her existence To please and satisfy another. She engages in conversation about a universal topic Each word has a bland taste Her sister lay dreaming when her own Pandora’s boxwill be cracked open.


The Streets of Santiago de Las Vegas

Juan Garcia

“Mi patria Cubana.” My country, my people, my

we celebrated Christmas Eve with a pig roasting

culture, forced into an endless, dark tunnel with no

over burning coal. I can still feel the heat radiating

sight of light. My life began in a little poor town on

off the red coals, the smell of the crackling pork,

the outskirts of Havana, Cuba called Santiago de

the sounds of happiness and laughter mixed with

Las Vegas. There I had my first steps, words, and

the pitter-patter of my parents’ feet on the concrete

experiences of what my country had become.

floor. Nothing can come close to the strength

The streets of my provenance were littered with

of my people who have endured through every

potholes, but this could not wipe away the smile

injustice, every restriction, every moment in a

of my belligerent people. In my town everyone

system that only hurts “el pueblo Cubano.”

“This darkness still plagues my heart, because I know that my people are suffering, caught in the crossfire of a war that will never cease.” knew each other; everyone was kind and gracious

The next step was a massive one. Leaving

to one another; everyone was family. That was

everyone I knew, everyone that made me . . . me,

where I learned what it meant to keep family close.

but it was necessary. I couldn’t live in a country

I can still remember the aging faces of my cousins,

where my own grandfather was put into prison

aging not in the sense that they were getting old

for four years just for speaking his truth. The two

but they had lost a childhood and with it their

who brought me into this world paved a way for

innocence; I remember the richness, not in wealth

me to live a life they could not have. My mother

but in culture and love. Every birthday, my people

is a hard-working woman whose only goal in life

gathered, made big with the little that they had. On

is to make her son’s life worth living. My father

“Noche Buena,” one of the greatest days of the year,

is the greatest man I have known and will ever


La Finca | Adrian Regalado | Photography

know, the hero whose cape flies high in my heart.

tenacious my heroes were, how they could sacrifice

Their sacrifice came at a price. For the first year

so much so that I could have the opportunity to

living in this country I saw my parents twice a

accomplish the biggest dream I could ever dream.

week, sometimes once. They had to work two jobs each; this forced them to go to work at sunrise and leave at midnight. I was only a child, and I did

The dark endless tunnel was one that I did not see an end to. I want my descendants to see this world as I

not understand what it meant to miss someone,

see it: green, lush, and magnificent. But I will not

but my parents did understand this; they yearned

forget of the struggle of my people. I will go back

to embrace me, to show me that they still loved

into that dark tunnel. I will give them the light

me. Looking back at those years, I realize how

they so utterly deserve.


I love you most (in the morning) For: L

Lianne D’Arcy


You burn my toast and my charcoal lips I forget how you like your eggs but then you remind me

will still kiss you

everything is best sunny

side up

Cyan | Saige Guevara | Digital Art



Foreshortening | Sabrina Vega | Oil Pastels and Graphite

In Honor of the Left-Handed

Lucas Grinspan “Everyone is born right-handed, only the greatest can overcome it.” - Anonymous From the very day I began to crawl on this Earth until the day I shall touch it last, my left hand has guided me through it with grace and wisdom. In a world populated with right-handed people, it takes a certain confidence to detach yourself from the populace and to declare yourself at the opposite pole. This proclamation harkens back to mankind’s primitive origins, where one had to fight the oppression of the savage environment and craft the tools needed to thrive. This basic drive has latched onto the back of our species ever since and has developed alongside us.

Other than the existence of lefties, evidence of this drive is abundant with many of humanity’s greatest developments; displaying this force in one way or another: The French Revolution, The Discovery of the Americas, industrialization, and even the Space Race demonstrate pure, human innovation. These accomplishments resonate profoundly with the lefty as they echo the struggles and the victories that lefties go through in this uncharted world. It is perhaps telling that the first step on the moon was with Armstrong’s left foot. When a lefty is presented with an instrument designed for the opposite majority, we do not simply give up. We don’t demand left-handed implements. Instead,

we overcome, until every last right-handed tool is conquered. Until then, we cannot experience satisfaction. Lefties demonstrate innovation and ingenuity by adapting to a hostile world, finding themselves at the forefront of personal development and wisdom. Lefties thrive best in a world of obstacles, a testament to our fighting spirit. We will not be defeated by scissors, nor binders, nor even the pencil marks which smudge our hand. It is not in our nature. This is why lefties are not simply born — they are selected. All of them understand this god-given responsibility until the day in which their hearts stop beating and their left hands fall.


That the Science of Street Maps are Limited Emily Carmenate On the corner where the avenue met the street, portrayed simply by two lines on a folded sheet of glossed paper, half an acre documented in the city’s records. Remembering when we first moved in. Making sense of the pixelated past. Faded montages. Vibrant memories. Sitting on the oak tree Kites swaying in the wind Feet in the pool Skin soaking in the Miami sun. Family dinners Living room forts Hide and seek Our lives in a flash. All within the same setting. More than just concrete and wooden panels. More than just the house that falls within the lines on a folded sheet of glossed paper.


“No one expected me. Everything awaited me.” Dumbo, Brooklyn | Joyce Llopis-Martell | Photography



You are Me and I am You | Catalina Cortez | Oil on Canvas


The Seed of an Idea

An Interview with Stephanie Woolley-Larrea By Ismary Guardarrama Stephanie Woolley-Larrea is a high school English teacher at Coral Reef Senior High. She has managed to find the optimal balance between motherhood and teaching all while maintaining her passion for writing alive. Regardless of the many hats she wears, one thing is for certain: wherever she goes and whatever she does, she always manages to turn nothing into something. Walking into Stephanie Woolley-Larrea’s classroom is like walking into a beehive. Tasks in hand, everyone works diligently. In the background, the low buzzing of brainstorming and discourse of a class can be heard. Under the guidance of a true queen bee, students turn simple ideas into honey. She is a busy woman. Her class is planned to a T; even when testing schedules and college fly-ins interfere with her schedule, she always has a back-up plan. Her room is never empty, not even during lunch when she was able to squeeze me into her agenda. Students pepper the classroom, opting either for the silence away from noisy courtyards, her amiable company, or the convenience of her microwave to heat up cold lunches. During class time, too, the energy is undeniable. Her ability to capture the attention of three dozen teenagers is impressive, but how she manages to engage them in discussions and debate, sometimes in Socratic Seminars, is awe-inspiring. Since the fourth grade, she has known her calling: to be a teacher and a writer. However, nowadays, balancing the roles of teacher, mother, and writer has become difficult. She finds herself choosing two, leaving writing on the backburner – that is, until her kids go away to college and she finds more time to work on her writing. Growing up, she was enthralled by A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett and hooked on Judy Blume, whom she had the chance to meet a couple of years ago. When she walked up to her, she burst into tears. “Not my finest moment,” she said, laughing. As she outgrew the children’s novels, she rejected the classics because they simply were not “cool at the time”. Nowadays, she can be caught reading Willa Cather and Thomas Hardy. Her younger self also did not like reading non-fiction, though ironically, non-fiction is currently her favorite genre. Had she been able to give


her younger self some advice, she might have told her to try all different genres and to be open to all different things. Yet, she holds that maybe her developmental process was meant to be that way. In graduate school, she entered as a novelist, but her thesis wound up being half poetry and half non-fiction. Nonetheless, her education plays a major role in how she conducts her classroom, where the line between author and teacher gets blurred. While her undergrad was in literature, her masters, which she began after teaching, was in writing. She claims that becoming a writer helped her understand literature a lot better because she comprehends the process and, when she talks about writing, it is not so much about the effect rather how the writer accomplished it. “I think that’s something kids don’t hear from a lot of different teachers because I think that’s a relatively unique perspective,” she tells me, a pensive look on her face. I then asked her if her students had any effect on her writing. “Sometimes,” she says, though admitting that while they don’t truly affect the process, they do offer her ideas and inspiration. “I have to make sure they don’t know that because it’s super creepy to think that your teacher is writing about you!” She then adds that, being a teacher, she has the privilege of meeting a great variety of different people, all who offer her bits of inspiration and muse, even if they are her own students. (The cat is out of the bag now.) Her writing process, then, starts small. “It’s usually a seed of an idea, like a sentence, and it evolves from there.” Emotion, she considers, is one of the most important aspects of writing. Though some might express their emotions through other means, like painting or sports, Stephanie Woolley-Larrea claims that “being able to release emotions through words is

Portrait of Stephanie | Marilou Jaen | Digital Photography

imperative in order to be successful as a writer.” Even when the work is intentionally lacking emotion, there’s emotion anyway since people can derive something from those pieces. “You can find subjectivity in objectivity,” she claims. The most difficult part of her artistic process, though, is finding the time. Having two full-time jobs as mother and teacher does not make the process any easier. She can’t simply write in ten minutes; she needs an hour to get the process going, but having multiple hours is best. Another marked difference between the Stephanie of today and the Stephanie of years’ past is the understanding of the virtue of planning. “I thought, ‘oh, a writer just writes and it comes out’ but it doesn’t work out that way.” If she’s on a project, she has specific goals and can get them done in short bursts. Perhaps it is those types of time constraints that make her more inclined to write poetry, which is typically shorter. She holds, however, that nonfiction is the most satisfying thing for her to write – usually memoirs. “I’ll work through spurts of poetry and then I go through spurts of non-fiction. When it comes to novels, they’re more complicated.” Yet, she tells me that

a novel is the last thing she worked on. “I have a novel that I want to get published but I haven’t done what I needed to do. I have people that want me to send it to them but I haven’t.” As her student, this would be the appropriate time to interject about the issues of procrastination but I refrained. With a spark of curiosity, I asked her about the synopsis of her novel. I became privy to the methods behind her madness but was consequently sworn to secrecy, so I’ll bite my tongue. In short, Stephanie Woolley-Larrea does not write books by the book. She is unconventional and innovative, both in her construction of stories and her curriculum planning. Her classroom, adorned proudly with the chef-d’œuvres by student hands and displaying the eager scribbles of book titles currently being read in students’ free time, is buzzing with the same energy she harnessed 23 years ago. If you were to ask her how her writing made her feel, she might offer “complete” but whether it starts with a seed, a sentence, or a student, there’s no denying that Stephanie Woolley-Larrea manages to see possibility and turn vinegar into honey.


Klimt’s Kiss Isabela Casanova

inspired by Eavan Boland's Degas’s Laundresses and Gustav Klimt's The Kiss You’ve always been a sight to behold. When I wake up or walk with you or lay at ease or go to sleep we are side by side hand in hand never too far from each other. We walk into the studio and he compliments you, a blush on your body doubt in your mind. Act natural. Turn your head. Hold each other.

You shimmer in the dim light, a golden wonder, and your eyes are sparkling and the world is staring up at me and I can’t breathe with paint fumes in my lungs your love in my heart.

I’m crumbling flaking like the gold leaf he wields when you blink so beautifully and art may have no sound but your voice is what kills me-

I love you.

Relax. The sun is sinking its rays in your hair, a fiery halo. I can’t help but glance at your morning glory mouth. Not here. Not now. Don’t look at him my dear keep your eyes on me, lashes fluttering like butterfly wings on the apples of your cheeks.


And before I can even know what I’m doing, your cheeks cupped in my hands, thumbs under your eyes, my lips on your porcelain skin, you sigh, barely there a hand on my neck. He exclaims softly. I laugh and you turn away, bashful in the face of the kiss.

Lips Moving, Suns Setting | Sabrina Vega | Mixed Media


One Man’s Grain of Sand Yasmine Torres Past memories filter through my mind in a luminous burst of endless progressions. With the stealth of a camera’s flash, the particulars of that day flood my consciousness. As a child, I had never truly understood the stark realities of life. That naiveté, however, was jolted, titling my world on its axis, when I first observed my father, an immigration lawyer, attempting to keep a man from being deported. The memory is tucked close. The gravity of the situation has never eluded me. The year was 2009; I was ten years old, and I sat waiting for my father to finish. I struggled to amuse myself; my hands clutched the red patent leather armchair in his office as I swung my legs back-and-forth observing the room around me. Every inch of the office’s mustard walls were reminiscent of a Cuban immigrant’s fondness for French culture. Various fleurs-de-lis and Eiffel Towers littered the space. I thought back on life with father. He was a man who, like Churchill, was “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma”. He was a force to be reckoned with who would always hold his lessons in silence. His fivefoot-seven stature used to tower over me as I compared our hand sizes palm to palm. His large round spectacles helped reflect the wisdom in his green eyes. His philosophy was honesty, and it often took away the rosecolored glasses from my eyes. Ironically, and perhaps paradoxically, my father was also the one to alert me to the obscure pleasures of the world. He introduced me to Edith Piaf, her mellifluous voice drifting through the air of our Honda as I accompanied him on weekly errands. This unity of opposites led to an authentic view of the world that I would soon learn to cherish. The emotion of the room was stifling, almost suffocating me in its hopelessness. Not quite


understanding what was happening, I stayed silent as hours passed and more intense phone calls were made. Two small children clutched their mother’s skirt and hid behind her for security. Almost in a state of hysteria, the woman pleaded in rapid Spanish to release her husband from a U.S. detention center. The despair and weariness on her face was evident as she realized deportation was likely. In that instant, a verse from “Los Zapaticos de Rosa” by José Martí came to mind, “Y dice una mariposa/ Que vio desde su rosal/ Guardados en un cristal/ Los zapaticos de rosa.” These lines explain that from the rose bush a butterfly saw pink shoes encased in glass. My father often read this Cuban poem to me before bed, and it tells the story of Pilar, a young girl, who gave up her precious pink shoes to help a girl in poor health. Where were my pink shoes? Logically, I knew that a pair of shoes would not help this situation, but I desperately wanted to help. On Earth’s surface area of 196.6 million square miles, it can be difficult to find a niche in life. I have always been fascinated by the lives of others, real or fictional, as they weave their way through the path of life and achieve self-fulfillment. I had always thought that what defined a person’s life was one extraordinary feat, not a multiplicity of experiences. It was then that I understood that my father, an immigration lawyer, was someone else’s hero. From his quaint office countless families, such as this one, have been saved from the clutches of insensitivity. On his desk, a blindfolded Lady Justice, with a sword in one hand and a scale in the other, beckons visitors. This is a tribute to a man who never expected any. A human life is ephemeral in nature; therefore, it is worthy to contribute even a grain of sand to the mounting problems of the world.

Brown Deluxe | Martin Abreu | Oil Painting


Top Shelf, Left Corner Melany Campoalegre I know what you look like, like a vine twirling up a bulky trunk, maneuvering Its way along the protruding wood, rising to the canopies to breathe in the sun. I know what you sound like, like the burgundy velvet walls in the Theatre, absorbing every note, belch, cry, tear until you can press your head and have life meet your ear drum. I don’t know what you smell like. You reach for that bottle on that top shelf, left corner your hand navigating the flora for your prized possession. it’s green with a presumably silver top, rusted with use as if petting a dandelion; you carefully unscrew the top. I never wanted to be a bottle more so than now. one spray

two sprays

three sprays

each less saturated than the last a cloud surrounds me, its arms stretching around me, engulfing me in its strong odor. I still don’t know what you smell like. Not one single object can give off such a scent like you do; it’s so peculiarly you. I could say it smells like candy like flowers like rain like an unopened book


I could say any other things, that gives off thingly scents, ordinary and homely But, I say it smells like the painting next to the Mona Lisa, in the corner, unscathed and unloved, reeking of underwhelming acknowledgement like the burnt ocean, peppered with sea urchins and seaweed, cold at the touch, freezing when you dive in, limbs getting lost in the royal blue like freshly cut wood, saw dust crawling up your nose, scrunching your face into a scowl, becoming hard to breathe, a tree growing in your lungs like the dirt within the crevices of my shoes, wet and muddy, rocks digging into my heels, sweat pouring down my ankle, the age of ten like the sunscreen my mother would smack on my face, protection against my life source, salty chemicals, whitewashed faces like the patterns on your bedroom floor, pristine and messy, more splatters of paint than white tiles, spelling out your name. like the day after the first time I saw you cry, acid tears and broken smiles, marks down your cheeks, your arms imprinted by your forehead, carrying the weight of your mind. like the day my father stopped smoking, nicotine mixed with longing, the smoke cloudy and murky, I saw his brown eyes clearly, determined. I still don’t know what you smell like. You wrap your arms around me images cloud my nostrils, smells echo out my ears, I see your laughter, I feel your pain a perfect picture

Bubbly Bath Break | Ashley Townsend | House Paint and Acrylic Paint


Walls of Paper Sara Sarmiento

Mangrove Culture| Jevon Brown | Oil and Acrylic on Canvas

When I was five years old, my home was lost at baggage claim. Four box-like suitcases were meant to carry my family’s meager belongings into our new American journey, and while our flight delivered us promptly at our destination, this luggage quartet stood static at the international terminal of Bogotá’s ‘El Dorado’ airport. One lock, two locks, three locks, and a door chain later, I was greeted by an empty one-bedroom apartment. With no adornments beyond the plain drywall and a stain ridden tan carpet, I could not understand the origins of my parents’ joy. They stared at the empty white walls with goofy earto-ear grins and wrapped me in a tenderly smothering embrace. I, however, remained unconvinced. It was no secret that my toys were being held hostage in another continent by one of our suitcases, and unless my parents could conjure my lego set from thin air, America and I were starting off on the wrong foot. I was naïve, however, and underestimated my mother’s genius. An entrepreneur at heart, with spontaneous spurts of creativity that would lead Da Vinci to shame, she turned empty walls into a kaleidoscopic wonderland. From the passenger seat of a Walmart shopping cart, I watched her scoop two thirty-foot newsprint paper rolls, paints, markers, and

blue sticky-tack into the fourwheeled basket, all in exchange for a twenty. We returned to the mundane apartment, and I watched my mother go to town. With a glob of adhesive at each wall’s vertex, my mother covered our humble abode with paper from floor to ceiling. The worry of missing toys vanished as I made friends with Roy G. Biv, the paint set, and Picasso, the paint brush. I discovered, with the first daring streak of emerald paint along the bottom of our bedroom wall, that color could metamorphose blankness into otherworldly portals

“I made friends with Roy G. Biv, the paint set, and Picasso, the paint brush.” and create windows to the lands beyond our four white walls. On these walls, I saw the world as stories grew into a tangible body. Ten digits doused in blue finger-paint created the choppy ocean waves of the Atlantic seashore where ships of ancestral conquistadors colonized my home country. I drew lines of tall skyscrapers, standing tidily by the Andean mountain range: a cultural fusion between the landscape of Colombia and the nearby metropolis of downtown Miami. The walls grew versed with poetry in a broken English language as

manzanas turned to apples, and cuentos de hadas into fairy tales. I could not leave America and the apartment, so I painted birds to be my spies into the world away from the walls. They surveyed the beauty of the raw green Earth, and brought back tales of my family back home. I was able to paint with the color of coffee grounds, and almost smell what the mornings with my grandmother were like before we moved. I drew her and the rest of my family near palm trees and oceans they could only dream to see: smiles wide with tones far too vibrant for the Bogotá winters I had grown up with. Before my eyes, the world grew, all as a consequence of my camaraderie with the brush. The strokes held stories of aspirations as I drew the globe I wished to travel, populated by friends of all the colors in the cosmos. This tabula was rasa no more. All around me was nothingness, but the walls held so much vibrancy that my spirit was rich enough to soar and explore. I’ve moved since then, away from the apartment and the white walls, into another home. The paint chips at Home Depot held a world of opportunity to decorate my new quarters, but the choice was quick and easy. I picked four white walls. Four white walls to be garnished by the hues of dreams that have raced through my mind since I first met the walls of paper.


Oxymoron Michelle Huang

An Eye for an Eye | Emmi Avalos | Multimedia


as it seems, pretty, perfect, precise, pristine hospital bed corners, ABC order, cookie cutter cut clean, no crease everything is always so nice, so neat no flaws, none, never, not one to be seen


can’t we just sing to the sky? must we let what we hide wither inside? is acquiescence our essence? are we really free? or are we just free of liberty? a change in perception shreds through perfection bursting through the seams of what it all means dirty and painful and gross and obscene disastrous incandescence neon lights for the blind the feeling of feeling and feeling alive hangnails, shattered glass, construction paper kites, the screaming of rap songs into the night, diamond toungue piercings, dark chocolate pie, the fire in her eyes and her bouquets of lies arainbowoflettersandhiscrookedsmileandpinkbubblegumanddoubledeckerbusesandhurthopepeacepain love

perfect. chaos. 107

Good Humor

Stephanie Woolley-Larrea

During the summer they were four, my kids finally understood the ice cream truck. Until then, they’d heard it and seen it, but didn’t connect the music to the parade of ice cream wielding children. I was okay with their ignorance. Like every universal secret, like every part of their maturity, it was only a matter of time, Every day at the park, six big brown eyes beg: “Mama -- today?” The four-year-old in me wants to hand over cash the way I hand over kisses. But I am the mom. I think about dinner, I worry about the mess, I calculate the box of twelve bars at the grocery store that costs the same as three from the gray, parasitic tin truck. But often I say “yes” because I remember my own sticky, sweet childhood, the bubble gum that stuck to the bottom of the plastic the hard, pink ball that finally would fall with a clunk against my teeth. I’d hold it in my cheek, hamster-style, until I’d scooped out the rest of the pink sherbert with the wood-flavored spoon. And I’d lick my lips, and chew the gum, and smile.


Parks | Nuria Dolphin | Gouache



Gabriela Espinoza

june days

when the sun shone in june, i remember you sweating on roller-skates and sand. when the sun shone in june, hid in winter, and peeped in fall, i saw the sun take you with it. if a gust of wind gulped us up and whisked us away, i would have another winter with you. a winter, a spring, a summer or two i could keep you sunny if you have any fear, if worry starts plucking out strands of your hair or dyeing your eyebrows grey, i will work them with my heart. i will fish back every time your heart ever skipped a beat and i will envelop every time your hands were shaking into a shoe box and bury them. if we leave them in the dirt for a while, something lovely starts to bloom. when the rain showers fall, we can watch it sprout through damp, springy earth, and rain coat hoods painting the sky with how the summer sun first felt

Chartruce | Saige Guevara | Digital Art


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The Garden of Eden Ana Xu

My mother is building her own. A haven of green leaves, To joy in the growing of life, And to rest under sweet eves. When I am weary and old, And need to break and sleep, Allow me to call upon, This garden my mother does keep.

I’ll lay my head in the grass, Under the shade of a tree, In the wings of the flowers, And calm my heart will be.

For paradise and refuge, To close my eyes so leaden, I’ll sit here serenely in, My mother’s Garden of Eden.


Artist Inspirations

Ismary Guardarrama | Bedtime Stories & American Dreams | Page 64-65 This was the college essay that helped me achieve my dream of studying in Washington D.C. in order to fight for the rights of immigrants and protect human freedoms worldwide. It takes the most important facets of my life as a woman and an immigrant and reminds me of the sacrifices that have gotten me where I am and which will take me to where I will be.” Emily Ehlen | Sunset Palm Trees | Page 64-65 “The visual focuses of my drawings are loose tones in the background contrasting the tight line detailing and form of the composition. I chose to draw nature because it represents growth. My motivation for drawing is to see how my art mirrors my development as a person.” Christina Bernadotte | Piece By Piece | Page 16-17 “My piece depicts my imagination, as innumerable, mechanical, vivid, and minuscule pieces that are seen as a puzzle that is incomplete. Each piece contained in a bubble represents a building block toward some goals and memories.” Diego Velazquez | Paths of Glory | Page 76-77 “Writing about history and the people who’ve made it has always been my passion.” Lucas Grinspan | In Honor Of The Left-Handed | Page 90-91 “I wrote this piece because I wholeheartedly believe that lefties are superior. I wrote this very statement with my left hand.”


Kamila Hernandez | Newborn Poet | Page 56-57 “Poetry itself changed the perspective and lifestyle of millions of people around the world, including mine. “Newborn Poet” is inspired by the beauty and impact of poetry, and how society does not appreciate us poets, whose words give hope to the world, even if our own personal worlds are falling apart.” Sara Sarmiento | Walls of Paper | Page 104-105 “My piece was inspired by a childhood memory from when my parents and I moved from Bogota, Colombia to Miami, Florida. It was also inspired by my mother’s contributions to my creative awakening.” Emily Carmenate | That the Science of Street Maps are Limited | Page 92-93 “Inspired by “That the Science of Cartography is Limited” by Eavan Boland and by nostalgia for my childhood.” Sydney Shaffer | Pomegranate, Pink Lemonade, Grapefruit | Page 34-35 “The development of complex circular organic figures, a brilliant color palette, and specific placement allows my work to convey the relationship between color, shape, and movement.” L’Amat Rosales | The Oasis | Page 82-83 “The idea for “The Oasis” came from the meaning I interpreted from the artist Tansey’s works. To me it relates to everything we go through from the second we enter this world to trying to figure out what path to take.” Nicole Charre | The Galaxy | Page 14-15 “The intricate flow of nature inspires me to focus on the minimal and abstract aspects of my surroundings when taking a photo.”

Joyce Llopis-Martell | “No one expected me. Everything awaited me.” Dumbo, Brooklyn | Page 92-93 “New York City has always been my greatest source of inspiration. The eccentric air you feel and the minds of the people you meet as you walk down the Brooklyn streets make me want to stop and soak in the creative energy.” Leira Padron | Fountain | Page 82-83 “I found myself inspired by architecture in general and those artists who sought to challenge their boundaries. I also wished to, in my own way, create something unique.” Martin Abreu | Brown Deluxe | Page 100-101 “I wanted to produce an image that is a chameleon of themes by painting small chunks of brown tones and shades. Essentially to provoke a sense of wonder to the viewer as they ponder the meaning of the piece.” Melany Campoalegre | Multiple Works | Page 3435, 102-103 “My inspiration for my pieces mostly came from art and personal experiences. In “Scorched Earth”, the heat that radiates from Mark Tansey’s “Doubting Thomas” inspired the poem; while in “Top Shelf, Left Corner” the openness and spread of the Louvre along with the lingering smell of my mother’s perfume inspired me.” Isabela Casanova | Multiple Works | Page 42-43, 98-99 “I was inspired by Mark Tansey’s “Triumph Over Mastery II” for “Maker.” When one becomes disillusioned with religion, anger and distress are not uncommon. However, I wanted to focus on empowerment. The love I saw in Klimt’s painting “The Kiss” seemed magical and almost ethereal to me. I wanted to really emphasize and put into words the sort of extreme bliss and ecstasy that I saw personified by the subjects of the art.”

Luis Colli | How It Feels to Be _____ Me | Page 68-71 “It honestly started as an assignment for one of my classes. We were supposed to write a short piece of writing - describing ourselves, our identity - but to the style of Zora Neale Hurston’s “How it Feels to be Colored Me.” As I wrote how it felt to be “immigrant me” (my original idea) I felt a sense of loss. if an immigrant is one that travels from one home to another, what am I? Someone that never had a home, that never had an identity.” Ana Xu | Garden of Eden | Page 112-113 “I was inspired by my mother. I love her and I know that I can always find refuge with her.” Emmi Avalos | Multiple Works | Page 22-23, 4445, 78-79, 106-107 “My surroundings are usually what inspire me to create my art and poetry. The pieces represent my thoughts and feelings at the time that I created them. My poetry works “The Mud Bench” and “Playground of Bones” were inspired by how my environment influences me, along with my art works “Growth” and “An Eye For An Eye.”’ Kasia Bezen | An Innocent Dip | Page 84-85 “I was inspired by a painting, done by Mark Tansey of a mirror-like image, one side had women and the other had men. I interpreted this as the separate worlds that men and women believe they live in, and I wanted to express the equality of the struggles between the two.” Carlo Servito | Here We Are | Page 36-37 “I was inspired to write this poem after viewing Mark Tansey’s, “White on White” painting.” Guadalupe Cao | Multiple Works | Page 54-55 “In my paintings, I am focusing on the relationship between people’s outer appearance versus their true feelings as being represented by projected images on their faces. In doing this, I


hope to show how different the two can be.”

Artist Inspirations

Nicole Marino | Weigh Me Down | Page 26-27 “The inspiration for “Weight Me Down” is the culmination of many of my emotions that often surface with the separation of two individuals.” Maria Medina | A Shot at Life | Page 50-51 “In class, we were learning about various paintings by the artist Mark Tansey. One of the paintings that stuck out to me was called the “End of Painting” which featured a cowboy, holding a stance in front of a mirror and shooting at it, this inspired me to write about the morbid scene in a rather optimistic light.” Dija Thomas | Merrily Tune | Page 62-63 “I wrote this song because it allowed me to thank my friend for sticking around even in the tough times. Writing music lets me communicate my emotions without words.” Cassandra Zuria | Multiple Works | Page 36-37, 52-53 “In my digital artwork, I focus on the detail of the lion to portray its beauty. I created these lions as they are an opposite image of myself. These artworks allow me to express my feelings by effectively combining intricate marks and color.” Yasmine Torres | One Man’s Grain of Sand | Page 100-101 “I write what I know, yet often times I write what I don’t know. Putting pen to paper is something that can never be predicted.” Sarah Gouriche | Pigmented Augmentation | Page 40-41 “I’ve always felt the need to let words speak for me. My piece is inspired by a perspective that is usually unwritten, about a tyrant who yearns to satisfy an insatiable hunger. It’s time for the bad guys to shine for once.”


Jasmine Valdes | Multiple Works | Page 48-49, 72-73 “My camera only left my shelf when I would go on vacations knowing that something would be exciting enough to photograph. But I hated waiting for the next trip as an excuse to take my camera off my dusty shelf so I started creating spontaneous photo shoots with my friends and capturing candid moments throughout our days as an extension of the fun memories we’d make.” Jevon Brown | Mangrove Culture | Page 104-105 “My art is a self -reflection of how I’ve grown as an individual. Mangroves are the main subject matter of my art. They are deeply rooted and connected, the roots twist in many ways and are all unique in composition; interconnecting with one another and their environments.” Mariana La Puente | Dry | Page 12-13 “Growing up, I went to an elementary school where the mascot was a rocket ship and our 5th grade field trip was a drive up to Cape Canaveral. In the future, I hope to research ways to sustain life in other planets. My poem’s purpose was to comment upon mankind’s apathy towards recent-day environmental destruction. If our Earth dies, everything dies along with it too.” Anaï Gressier | Eighteen | Page 58-59 “This poem is for Tiffany, a dear friend of mine. What inspired me was that when this happened to Tiffany, it brought all sorts of people together. People from all different programs within the school joined forces to support her. I read to her everytime I find myself visiting her. The focus should be on the impact Tiffany left on us as not only a friend, but as an uplifting individual.”

Jagged Lines | Cloe Leclerc | Photography


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This page: Detail from Interwoven | Catalina Cortes | oil on canvas with embroidery Back cover: Twine on Paper | Catalina Cortes


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