Elysium Literary/Art Magazine 2018

Page 1

ELYSIUM Volume 17, 2018 www.elysiummagazine.com

Coral Reef Senior High School 10101 SW 152 Street Miami, FL 33157 School phone: 305.232.2044 school fax: 305.252.3454 Contact: Sponsor Email: amyscott@dadeschools.net telephone: 305.984.7056

A Note from the Editor Unity is defined as the state of being joined together as a whole. Throughout the pages that follow, each individual has a unique story to tell. As these stories unfold, a number of imbalances come to light. We live in an era of momentum, of movement, and in literature and art we find our voice. We voice the struggle of immigration in a country built by immigrants; we voice past stories of silence when such a silence can no longer be tolerated; we voice our protest against racism; we voice faith in a time when others have lost theirs; we voice admiration for sacrifice when service is disparaged. We voice what it means to be different. We find equilibrium in each other and in each other’s voices. Sophia Lord Editor In Chief

Cover: The Principle of Metal | Kaitlyn Rezek | Pen and Ink Inside Cover: Circles and Waves | Kaitlyn Rezek | Pen and Ink

About Us


Published continuously since 2005, Elysium Magazine is an annual publication designed to showcase student creativity in both writing and art. This year’s staff of nineteen students came from an assortment of academies and represents grades 10-12. Elysium meets every Wednesday after school from October to March as well as three full weeks in April. All staff members are involved in procuring, selecting, matching, designing, and proofing the magazine. To reach a larger audience, all Elysium publications are archived on elysiummagazine.com along with programs and photos from past galas held at Books and Books in Coral Gables. In this venue, various artists, writers, actors, and musicians present dramatic readings, art discussions, and performances.

The magazine intends to showcase the beauty of interrelationship between literature and art. What sets Elysium apart is that we endeavor to represent our student body as a whole. Additionally, the magazine seeks to establish ties with the larger community, recognize talent, and teach professional design and layout. We believe in the value of preserving print media.

Colophon Volume 17 consists of 120 pages created on Dell Desktop computers using Adobe InDesign © CS5.5 and Adobe Photoshop © CS5.5. The layout staff chose Onyx as the cover font while the inside pages had titles, author names, body text, and credits fashioned from Times New Roman. Inside pages were printed on 80 lb gloss white paper while the cover was 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 on a first-come, firstserved basis- teachers upon request.

Editorial Policy

To ensure that the magazine is representative of the creative work of the entire school, staff is selected from across the many academies, and art and writing submissions are judged anonymously. In October, the editor-in-chief and adviser select the staff based on a personal interview, a portfolio, and the student’s ability to evaluate an unknown piece of art or literature. To further ensure fairness, submissions are judged anonymously and identified by only an ID number. The literary staff reviews pieces in solitude and later discuss pieces in a group. Selections are based on style, distinctive theme, and overall quality. Finally, the layout staff teaches InDesign to the staff. Fonts are chosen and potential covers aid the staff in their designs.

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 continuous support.

Ed So ito ph r-I ia nLo Ch rd ie f

Literary Editor Catarina Fernandez

Art Editor Eva Bibas Literary Staff Dani Hernandez-Gil Nicholas Cedron Michelle Huang Anik Willig Daniela Casillas Francisco Miralles Nicole Marino

Adviser Amy Scott

Layout Editors Sofia A. Seidel Arquimides Cala

Art Staff Adrian Regalado Ilona Arwacher Leilani Herndon Laura Gonzalez Sofia De La Torre Veronica Webber Layout Staff Claudia Breen

The City is Flying | Kaitlyn Rezek | Pen and Ink

Awards and Memberships Columbia Scholastic Press Association:

Gold Crown 2015; Silver Crown 2016, 2017, 2018 Gold Medalist: 2005, 2007-2018

National Council of Teachers of English:

Highest National Award: 2008-2010, 2012-2018

National Scholastic Press Association:

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


Cr oo ke dL

ine s|

K ai

tlyn R



Page 1

Immigrant Mothers Bianka Bermudez, Poem


Zest Natalia Rovira, Poem


Sestina David Ernsberger, Poem


#Me-Too Daniela Hernandez-Gil, Prose


Monty’s Sunset Eric Sokhn, Poem


The Chieftain Gabriel Mendez-Sanders, Prose


Post Flos Mortem Tarah Anasseri, Prose


A Kiss From God Claudia Breen, Personal Essay


Where Earth Meets Water Sophia Lord, Poem


An American Summer in China Miranda Gong, Poem


mary Daniela Casillas, Poem


valentine’s day showers Michelle Huang, Poem


Balancing Act


Miranda Gong, Prose The Work of a Historian Jorge Manach, Poem



Page 2

Space Illusions Karen Torino, Poem


El Doctor Carlos Rodriquez, Prose


The Monks of Norcia Daniela Hernandez-Gil, Prose


The Exotic Garden of Monaco Eric Sokhn, Poem


Apartment on Royalty Court Sherry Zhang, Poem


Samsara Michelle Huang, Poem


This Place Jonah Snyder, Poem


Remnants Maria Camas, Poem


Strange Fruit Amber Robinson, Poem


Drops Nicole Marino, Poem


Complex Cause Nathaniel Miller, Personal Essay


Purification of the Past Rachel Betancourt, Poem


The Stars are Brighter in Arollo Sabana 56-57 Natalia Rovira, Personal Essay Where I Live Catarina Fernandez, Poem


Future Faces of Fashion: Camille Farge 62-63 Sophia Lord, Interview Future Faces of Fashion: Francesca Bornancini Sofia Antunes Seidel, Interview


The Value of Music Kevin An, Prose


Two sides Thomas Clavajo-Garcia


Why I Learned to Sing the National Anthem Before Saying My Own Name Sara Hartzell, Personal Essay


Night Contemplations Nicole Marino, Poem




Alexandra Conroy, Prose

Maybe I Don’t Know but This is Happy 98-99 Daniela Hernandez-Gil, Prose Flames Asunder Jackson Ribler, Poem


Iron Fists Tarah Anasseri, Prose


The Hands of Time Camille Orquera, Poem


The Critic Kevin An, Poem


Planet Rubish Michelle Marrero, Poem


Artist Interview: Leira Padron Eva Bibas, Interview


The Bay Eric Sokhn, Poem



Page 1

Spa Day, LeiLani Herndon, Watercolor


Pedestrians of Life Fran Bornancini, Photography


Explode Catalina Cortes, Acrylic and Oil on Board


Stripped Apart Connor Albright, Pen on Paper


Drift, Eva Bibas, Mixed Media on Metal


Weighed Down by History Angelica Neyra, Sculpture: Clay


Face Paint, Guadalupe Cao, Acrylic and Oil on Board


Milky Way Galaxy Maria Villa, Acrylic


Filtered Sunset Ilona Arwacher, Photography


Matanusla Glacier Evan Barron, Photography


Gaia and the Loss of Senses Angelica Neyra, Sculpture: Clay


Brickell Building Amber Nolan, Scratchboard


Rosie Laura Gonzalez, Oil Paint


Chaos Amber Nolan, Acrylic Paint


Adventure en Patagonie Nicole Charre, Photography


Queen Laura Gonzalez, Acrylic


Portraits 1 and 2 Sydney Shaffer, Charcoal


102 Degrees Fahrenheit Camille Farge, Photography


Growth Brianna Marshall, Watercolor


BLANK Laura Gonzalez, Mixed Media


Yellow, I got an eye on you Laura Gonzalez, Acrylic, Oil Pastel, and Pen


Future Faces of Fashion Francesca Bornancini, Camille Farge


Life as it is Eva Bibas, Sculpture: Catheters, Shipping Pallet, and Epoxy


Aching Catalina Cortes, Acrylic and Oil on Board


Jessie’s Girl Yadelis Gomez, Pencil, Pen, Marker, and Magazine Clippings



Page 2

Bliss Maria Villa, Acrylic


Andy Gisel Anuez, Acrylic on Tag Board


Reflective City, Reflective World Francesca Bornancini, Photography


Searching Eva Bibas, Wall Paint on Thick Paper


Toy Soldiers Matthew Gonzalez, Oil Pastel


New York State of Mind Francesca Bornancini, Photography


Aurora Borealis Evan Barron, Photography


Fire and Water Kaitlyn Faircloth, Photography


Get the Aliens Out Veronica Webber, Acrylic and Pen


Memorial Wall Part I Gabrielle Feria, Scratchboard


Eye Vision, Hello Francesca Bornancini, Photography and Digital Art


Power vs. Speed Christina Bernadotte, Sharpie, Acrylic, and Watercolor


Ninety-Six Camille Farge, Photography


Giraffe Amber Nolan, Watercolor


Gaia Angelica Neyra, Sculpture: Clay


LeiLani Herndon Concentration Statement


L’œil Camille Farge, Photography


Caladium, Narcissus Isabel Cataneda, Watercolor on Gouache


A Charmed Life, Drive Camille Farge, Photography


Refraction of Light Laura Gonzalez, Acrylic on Canvas

Cold War Leila Pardon, Oil Pastel and Ink


Leira Padron Artist Interview

Time is the Most Important Thing We Have the Least of Kristin Davis, Acrylic Paint


Crab, Christina Bernadotte, Mixed Media

Puppets of Fate Eva Bibas, Sculpture: Medical Supplies and Digital Print


112-113 114-115 116-117

Banner: Foundations, Grey | Kaitlyn Rezek | Pen & Ink

Immigrant Mothers Bianka Bermudez

“Earrings are the most important part of a girl” Mami says in clipped Spanish But I’m pretty sure last week it was perfume. The week before that Shaved legs And before that, An unwavering smile, A jaw clamped into a garish imitation of compliance Placidity personified, Because I’m not allowed to mind, And no one cares if I do.

Pressed shirt Perfume Perfection Holding herself poised like an actress, And her role is the All-American.

I feel my blood boil at the truths every immigrant mother knowsOr ratherThe lies that they have been taught to believe Or rather1980’s California, My mother On a bus, Her heart pulsating like speed bumps, As chaos consumes the scene Fellow immigrants around her Trying to melt into their seats As la migra stops the bus. And there is no stoplight Like the threat of deportation As they’re voted off the island for being: Too brown Too shabby Too poor Too anything-but-white. But there is my mother. Dressed her best,

“Look sharp, presentable, your best at all times” Immigrant mothers know how one will be judged on their appearances And Mami is livid when I even suggest not wearing a bra in the house, “That’s American nonsense,” she says, “And you are not American.”


La Migra doesn’t look at her twice. Perhaps she is too put together to be an immigrant. Perhaps it says a lot that this would not be the last time she would fool them just like this.

And what she means is We are not American We will never be American Not to them. We are Hispanic We have higher standards, And what she means is Double standards. Because she knowsShe has been taught to believeThat she will never be enough, And we can only pretend by putting on airs Like costumes. But the difference is:

Americans put on costumes of our cultures for fun And we put on costumes of their culture for survival. Immigrant mothers, With brown eyes and dark hair And worn out callous ridden hands while she carries the history The soil of her country underneath her fingernails. She is my mother, My mother’s mother, and the many mothers before her.

Her voice comes out like the chords of an off-key piano She knows the notes of her new language But she never gets it right And maybe she’ll always be a bit out of tune.

Spa Day | LeiLani Herndon | Watercolor

I don’t care. It’s the most beautiful song I’ve ever heard.



For Spain and Puerto Rico

Natalia Rovira This art was crafted by love and knives And called imperialism before it was freedom. A country of bulls and royalty, An island of tropics and magic. The red, the yellow. The red, white, blue. They clashed so perfectly they melted together And now my blood runs deep with the rainbow– The two flags wave side by side. She picked up the knife and carved away, The orange unzipped itself from its zesty skin. The spiral of the rind fell onto the table: The skirt of the flamenco dancer. He picked up the knife and chucked away. The orange shed itself of its zesty scales. Perfect imperfections, Falling gracefully onto the table: The symbols of the ancient Coat. The Crowns, the Kingdoms, Further Beyond. The Lamb of God, the Jungle Beauty, John is his name. History brought together over a dinner table. Tradition broken into two oranges. This art was crafted by love and knives. I pick up the blade. I carve. I chuck. I lose myself within the zesty sea spray. The spirals fall to scraps. Scraps form into spirals. Over, Over, Over, again. I am lost between the ends of the Atlantic.


Explode | Catalina Cortes | Acrylic and oil on board


Drift | Eva Bibas | Mixed Media on Metal


Sestina * David Ernsberger Why must we meet over there under your sun of gold and sky of blue, when you know the real feeling is deep-sea black

When time is gone, and days turn black, when black-bearded pirates taunt and take you, it is you only unto yourself

and full of you,

who is not really there;

only you, yourself?

no sky of blue. Sea is real;

I wish that you would ask yourself why you fly so high away up there where the false winds blew away what’s real— leaving black—

where mercurial skies blow ships which reel; turning seas their boiling cauldron black. Through them…sails you… an island of yourself— gold there, with pools of blue.

securing you. Overhead I witness skies holding fast to blue— In the ocean’s mirror, you see just you

a nimbus layer just below clutching what’s real;

And you and yourself; and blue and yourself.

only nighttime skies are black,

Now, I only wish I am there

and are now only black for you and yourself.

amidst the black and blue. Minds reel, seeing black.

Over there, in the distance, you stand there in your black and blue Where image and idea of you are impossibly real… And how real the black—you engulf yourself.

* David Ernsberger is currently a teacher at Coral Reef Senior High School



Daniela Hernandez-Gil

You made me afraid of everything. Of the blue plastic bus chairs, of early mornings, and of the sound of sudden stops. 6:17 became my hell, and you became my vice. My dad always drove me to the corner, sheltering me in a small BMW, of the world’s atrocities, and as we waited I realized how ironic it was that the biggest one was only 4 blocks away. I tried to sleep; I tried to configure my small frame in such a way that I would take up the whole chair, maybe hoping that you woke up late or chose to sit in the back. Never. You never did. It started out innocently, you and I. You would sleep on my shoulder as I would try to explain away the hollow of my eyes, but the more comfort we sought out, the more dignified you became. I was never one to shy from my own words, but I didn’t understand this or us or anything really; you made me shrivel into the papers you ripped from my books. I couldn’t say stop, I thought you knew. Your hesitation gave me confidence, and the first few times I brushed it off. While I slept you had absolutely no way of configuring the glass puzzles without hurting yourself. My mind searched for a contradiction to dig up, but your smile only muddled the dirt. Why did you stop after I got a boyfriend? Why was his silence more impactful than my “STOP no,” or my “You have a girlfriend,” or my “Don’t do this anymore I don’t like it,”?


I said stop. I said no. Half-asleep and dreary eyed I would try everything to make it impossible for you to reach my body. You persisted. I never reported you, remembering how you told me that your father had passed, I saw the slightest bit of humanity you never saw in me. I spared you the life sentence I am forced to carry. You will probably never read this, you will probably never remember. You caused my addiction to silence, my addiction to fear. But you have also caused me to grow up too fast with the pain in knowing who holds my trust. I am afraid of everything, except you. You are merely but a few words etched in my memory, faded and worn, of smirking faces and strange looks. You made the haze rise over my eyes, letting me see the gum filled seats and graffitied windows, instead of the green stop lights and the yellow canaries. I don’t look you in the eye though, when we cross paths. Because I know if you did, the tears in mine would’ve made you stop.

Face Paint | Guadalupe Cao | Acrylic and oil on board


Monty’s Sunset Eric Sokhn

The sunset we never watched together mocks me as Warm hues of purple and gold sit comfortably low on the horizonLethargic. Like whipped cream. Ribbons of light-waves like banners float in the distance as The sun sets. Your face disappearing with it. All that’s left is a final mirage as it slowly fades—

I’m slowly fading, hardly conscious of this release Into the frigid embrace of night. Staring into that endless sandbox of Floating lights, the heavenly constellations become more obscure. Like anesthesia for the mind, all is numb and forgotten. I become a child once more, walking west. Waking through a newly woven fabric as Dawn approaches.

A pastiche of emotions not all mine


Filtered Sunset | Ilona Arwacher | Photography


The Chieftain Gabriel Mendez-Sanders I sat agog in the flimsy cage waiting for something to happen. The silence was beginning to get to me. One hour passed, then two, then three. After that I lost track of time, floating in and out of sleep. Eventually, the wooden door flew open and slammed into the wall of sticks. The small, rickety cage rattled heavily with the impact. That’s how most of the village was, frail and built carelessly. The guard thrust a plate of meat I couldn’t recognize towards me, with a marinade sauce splattered messily on top. I stared at it in disgust and looked up to meet the guard’s gaze. His glare deeply unsettled me. I decided it wasn’t a good idea to resist, more so if I wanted to meet his leader. I ate the food slowly, struggling to swallow each bite, trying to mask my revulsion. The guard stood there, his gaze unwavering. When I finally finished the food, the guard grabbed the back of my tunic and threw me out of the wooden cage. I decisively stumbled into him before hitting ground. The tip of his spear pressed against my back before I could rise. A second guard came and tied my hands behind my back using a strip of leather. I was lifted and walked to the only cabin in the village. Its solid wood doors and sturdy walls made it stand out against the common animal-hide tipis. We entered a dark and stuffy room with a fire lit in the corner. A powerful man sat in an irreducible chair, its complexity marked with hundreds of hand crafted drawings. He was easily the largest man in the village standing at over 6 and a half feet tall. The chieftain of the village stared at me with the acuity of a born leader. His presence made even his own guards hesitate before entering. His black hair and olive skin contrasted with the bright white pelt that lay casually across his chest. “Why are you here?” He questioned, struggling to speak the English language.


A massive black beast rose from the shadow of his chair, seeming to have appeared from thin air. It had an endoskeleton that seemed far too large for its skin. Its razor-sharp teeth were bared, but the leader seem unfazed by it, casually stroking its back. “Why are you?” I inquired in his native language. He hesitated slightly, taken off guard, but just as quickly regained his composure. The guards seemed to get angry but the leader broke into a smile and raised a hand to calm them. He turned to one of the guards and nodded his head towards the door. The guard shot him an uncertain look, but his mind was clearly made up. Both guards left reluctantly as I struggled to loosen my leather bindings. “I admire your confidence, but you are my prisoner. You would do well to remember that.” He stated simply with a smile. “If you were going to kill me, begging and pleading would do nothing to alter your decision.” I stated coolly. He tilted his head slightly as he silently pondered my response. He stood up and walked over to the fire, shifting it with a stick as sparks flew into the air. “What do you want?” The Chieftain tried again. He walked towards me calmly, and the beast’s eyes followed his movements carefully from where he lay. I looked deep into the chief’s desolate eyes--there was nothing there, no remorse. . . no regret. “For you to remember,” I spat with venom. A memory seemed to hit him, a sudden moment of confusion, and that’s when I struck. The blade sank deep into his chest as a look of understanding dawned upon him. His limp body crumpled to the floor. He died moments later, slain by the knife of his own guard. I hope his last thought was regret. Regret for murdering the Chieftain of the village. . . or maybe regret for sparing his son.

Gaia | Angelica Neyra | Clay sculpture


Post Flos Mortem Tarah Anasseri

It was the worst hour of the worst weekend of the worst month of the worst year when the single shriveling petal dangling from the red Chrysanthemum, beside the hospital bed slowly dropped to the ground. He was immensely sick, touched upon by the hands of malignancy. Pale face, piercing wires protruding from the body. Projectile fluids spewing from the stomach. Eyes shut-speechless-static. Such special Chrysanthemum that gracefully spoke, swayed, sang, and spread smiles, now silenced, stiff, struggling to survive-shadows casting shade, stripping its stem of sun and supportThe heart flat lines. Stinging salt. Vision of scrubs rushing from the south. Piercing sounds of screams. The world spins. Let a heart never ache as it did that day. Fooling my heart to believe, believe a long captive mum has now been freed. Somber sights fill the room. A white lily replaces the Chrysanthemum- it stands strong beside the hospital bed.


Rosie | Laura Gonzalez | Oil

A Kiss from God Claudia Breen


some area under the shade. Soon a roar of voices

y mother ran to my table. “Claudia, I just got

rises, and I realize that the noise that I once regarded

word from Kike that the Scouts are doing the Camino

as annoying is rewarding. A stinky sock. A back

de Santiago; it’s a two-week pilgrimage across Spain

massage. The dog that had been following us for the

to the city of Santiago de Compostela. Let me know if

day has found its family amongst a crowd of happy

you want to go. ”


“Ok. Gracias, Mami.” An itch behind my head arises; I scratch, but it doesn’t leave. I recall the angry comments from the students at school. The Church is racist; it’s so homophobic, I hate it. The comments are like slashes in the back. A voice in my head, stiller and sweeter, comforts

A sudden relief invites me. Why was I afraid of coming home? Why was I afraid of embracing a religion that had been rooted in my mother’s family? It’s not the religion itself, I think. It’s the image it gives me. I shift uncomfortably. These pants are going to have grass stains all over! A girl one- hundred- shaded

me. You’ll be a newly Catholic girl in a Catholic

leaves- away suggests that we should call a shelter for

country. Isn’t that cool? Do it. It’ll be good for you.

the lost dog. Alto and soprano voices clash against

Finally the day arrives, and we set off on the hike.

one another. Some scramble for a phone. No service.

My left foot kisses the boot’s sole, sending sharpening

Nearby, the dog lies in the sun, content with his

pain down the raw skin. My right foot obeys its partner

existence. He was experiencing what I hadn’t yet. He

while a trickle of sweat drops from my chin, hitting the

had finished his pilgrimage. I haven’t.

fertile mountainside below me. After several hours, my backpack weighs on me like a giant toddler. I look up. The trees above me separate their

I do know this. It will only be a short period of time when those remarks from school fade in intensity. The slashes on my back will stitch themselves, and that

fingers, revealing rays of gold. No one in Miami

shell, that burden that hangs from my camping bag,

would be experiencing what I am. I keep walking.

will be lifted by the kiss of God.

Un, dos. Un, dos. My feet keep beating to the song of the woods, following the calls of the Compostela Cathedral kilometers ahead. Lunchtime arrives. The sound of sixty camping bags thump to the ground. I scramble for


Adventure en Patagonie | Nicole Charre | Photograhy


Portrait 1 | Sydney Shaffer | Charcoal sketching crayons on newsprint


Portrait 2 | Sydney Shaffer | Charcoal sketching crayons on newsprint


Where Earth Meets Water Sophia Lord

To my earth: may you be forever turning. The peace and serenity engraved in your clay composition your core natural like the soil shifting underneath my toes and the bark on the branch of that makeshift bench we used as a seat when we spent those days out on the lake house us talking thinking about our mistakes, our past, the daily mysteries and simple choices that have led us to this very moment and you peaceful the fluidity of your gentle curls grazing your face as if they were seeking a life of their own dirt adhered to your satin skin and I wondered, how dirty could ever look this clean


Growth | Brianna Marshall | Watercolor


Life As It Is | Eva Bibas | catherers, packing crate, and epoxy| Regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Gold Key Winner


An American Summer in China: 2016 inspired by “An Irish Childhood in England: 1951”

Miranda Gong

The clamorous dialogue of Chinese-American teens, English, Chinese, an irregular mix of the two: An inconsistency in an open-air market of the Old Town of Lijiang. This inconspicuous group turns heads, Passerbys’ tilt their heads, puzzled. They ask each other-“Tāmen bùshì zhōngguó rén ma?” “Aren’t they Chinese people?” In the vendors’ roadside shops, we speak in Chinese; Out on the cobblestone road, to each other, A natural conversion to English, with some Chinese sprinkled in When we can’t think of a translation-We are comfortable both ways. Stopped at a restaurant for lunch, Eyes peering hungrily into steaming pan and plates Fish stews, liáng cài*, jiǎo zi**, hot tea What else? French fries, Spam slices, Coca-Cola I came in the summer of two thousand sixteen, nearly a decade since I’d come last, This country is still my country.

*various types of cold vegetable dishes **steamed dumplings


mary daniela casillas when i tell you i’m a virgin know i say it through gritted teeth and a stiff jaw because it’s against my very nature to lie don’t you dare kiss me under the guise of love forget touching me with a tender hand i will push you away until you are no more the forbidden fruit was still eaten even if it didn’t ask to be a flower is still plucked at its prime not yet ready to bloom even if it didn’t ask to be i am unpure even if I didn’t ask to be he still touched my cheek and my body and all the dimples on my thighs and held me down with the strength of his being not stopping until his ugly desires were satiated the warmth of his skin chilled me his body weighed me down not even my mind could escape bedsheets stained red lips trembling in fear don’t tell anyone, he whispers so when i tell you that i’m a virgin i will say it through gritted teeth and a stiff jaw when i tell you that i’m a virgin i will do so unfaithfully when i tell you that i’m a virgin i am lying


Aching | Catalina CortĂŠs | Acrylic and oil on board


Jessie’s Girl | Yadelis Gomez | Pencil, Pen, Marker, and Magazine Clippings


Michelle Huang


it is 2:12 on a wednesday & i am gossiping in a classroom packed to the brim with voices & it is valentine’s day & i did not eat lunch yet & layla who sits behind me is wearing red glitter eyeshadow & it is dripping down onto her cheeks & chloe is texting me from the classroom down the corridor & her birthday is a day later & she is turning 17 & the teacher is telling her about valentine’s day & 1929 & drive-bys & gangsters & how she thinks 7 bodies are not enough to christen a massacre & none of us know this yet but on the other side of town a man pulls a fire alarm & walks into a high school & showers the classrooms with bullet casings & i do not know this yet but two hours later i will be driving on the interstate & my mother will be riding shotgun & she will turn on the radio & we will hear a boy rattle like the 2 skeletons he finds bleeding out on his classroom’s doorstep & i will stop at a red light & be glad for my empty stomach & my mother will pull my hand off the steering wheel & lace our fingers together & turn the dial

& i do not know this yet but it is 2:12 on valentine’s day & on the other side of town there is a girl hiding in a classroom packed to the brim with shattered glass prayers & the girl who sits behind her has blood dripping down onto her cheeks & Carmen Schentrup is texting her mother from the classroom down the corridor & her birthday is a week later & she is turning 17 & the streaks of blue in her hair stains with a thick syrupy red & she is gone before she can feel the scars & maybe this is what they mean by massacre


& i do not know this yet but tomorrow we will walk into a spanish classroom & learn the conjugations for uncertainty viva vivas vivamos & all any of us will think of is how we should survive & zach will tell me to play dead & cloak myself in someone else’s blood sangre sangres sangremos & i will think if we should die let it not be like hogs & tiam will tell me to use my desk as a shield for my body & i will think of the bullet holes torn out of the shield that is Aaron Feis’s body me salve te salve nos salve & then i will think maybe we should not die at all & i do not know this yet but tomorrow night we will eat dinner at the breakfast table & my mother will tell me about Peter Wang & how he died 2 days before the new year & how he went back inside the under a hail of gunfire to kept the floodgates open the way moses should have led the exodus & how he will be buried beneath triangular folds of honor while his mother will be sobbing for her baby to lead her out of this nightmare & my mother will put down her chopsticks & tell me she does not have enough children for me to be a hero & i will not look her in the eyes when i promise to be a coward & i do not know this yet but a week later i will walk into a vagabonded classroom & i will hear the teacher tell us about presidents & terrorists & how god don’t like ugly & i will remember how Joaquin Oliver wears a rosary over his collar & i cannot say if i believe in god but if i did maybe i’d say he is walking single-file with his eyes closed & his hands on the shoulders in front of him & maybe i’d say his head is tilted upwards like the rest of us searching & i do not know any of this yet because now it is 2:12 on valentine’s day & we are eating candy we did not buy & we are all standing up in a classroom before the bell rings & when the bell rings we walk out into the hallway & go home



Pedestrians Of Life | Francesca Bornancini | Photography


Balancing Act Miranda Gong

with animated eyes and enthusiastic hand gestures. One Thursday night, she brought up a thoughtprovoking proposition. She suggested, “Instead of asking children, ‘what do you want to be when you I spent many afternoons on a rough, patterned rug next grow up?’, We should ask them, ‘what problem do you to a low-set coffee table on which my parents kept an want to solve?’” ordinary pendulum. With my chin propped up on the wood table, I followed the swing of the pendulum with Struck by the seemingly simple concept, I considered wide eyes. the question myself. There are multiple existing conditions of which I am not content, but all fit neatly The consistency fascinated me: the steadiness of under the worldwide epidemic of imbalance. the click, the gentleness of the parabolic arc that the weighted bobs created with every swing. It seemed It is balance and compromise that builds and mends to me how everything should be: consistent, steady, relationships- that keeps the peace between nations balanced. that promotes a healthy and happy relationship with our Earth. One day, curious, I stuck my finger out and disrupted the swing, threw off the perfect arc. The two cords It is a lack thereof that breaks marriages, that erupts quickly became tangled and the reliable click ceased. into belligerency, and that destroys homes and habitats alike. I’ve come to realize the world works the same way. There is an undeniable imbalance in the world that has I am sitting in a college classroom at 9 o’clock on greatly favored my country and has sorrowed many a humid Thursday night. The sky is navy, opaque others. outside of the shuttered windows. A diverse collection of students surrounds me; many are twice or three I want to make a change. times my age, all are from different walks of life. Some days I’m walking a tightrope, keeping my This is my GEB1011 class, a class I chose to take the balance by the skin of my teeth. summer before my senior year. Still, I am standing upright. As it turns out, it was the most memorable and enlightening class I’ve ever taken. Professor Cruz Isn’t everything just a balancing act? gave every lecture as if it were a keynote speech – I’m sitting cross-legged in the living room of my childhood home. I am four or five. There is a simple pendulum in front of me.


Stripped Apart | Connor Albright| Pen and paper


The Work of a Historian Jorge Manach

History is not set in stone. History is a competition. Shapes and figures that have existed for thousands of years, No matter how beautiful they may be, Can be swept away with one swipe of a historian’s brush, Tossed into the bin of other’s disproven, disused knowledge. Meanwhile new sculptures are carved into rock constantly, Making the old days useless and irrelevant. In this way the game of history is cruel and punishing. It is in this way, however, That the brush can also do good. The historian can use it to polish, Bring to light, dust off old history. They can get rid of the smaller, uncarved rock In order to place what is important in a better light. Often times this might be valued higher Than the other version of history we have come to know. Whichever way a historian might utilize his metaphorical brush, It can be made certain That with each new innovation that is carved, With each war that is brought to attention, With each death that is unsympathetically swept away, We may slip further from the past, But we may also drive closer to the truth.


43 Weighed Down by History | Angelica Neyra | Acrylic and Wax on Canvas


I fell in love with her eyes. Everything else was so unpredictable. One day her fingers were painted with the Milky Way, And the next they were coated with only the remnants of a Supernova. Her heart, a black hole, disguised as a galaxyPromising warmth but delivering destruction. But her eyes held constellationsA surreal display of beauty that could never be altered.


Milky Way Galaxy | Maria Villa | Acrylic


Matanusla Glacier |Evan Barron |Photography

“Monks of Norcia� is based on the true events of a man who was reborn into spirituality after a near-fatal car accident in Cali, Colombia. As a form of therapy, Klause Hobrecker sought out religious meditation with music, specifically the songs of a monastary in central Italy, helping him cope with his dire reality.


The Monks of Norcia Daniela Hernandez-Gil


knew he didn’t like silence. He didn’t like the heat,

and he didn’t like cool surfaces. Though he claimed he could not remember, fragments of suppressed memories surfaced with a remarkable pain. He lost it all. He was found on a lonely road holding the angelic corpse of his 2-year-old daughter. His wife lay nearby, and so did his two other children, limp and lifeless. We never knew who made the call or how he survived, but we did know that the acute silence was a sign of his knowing everything was not right. We worried; we cried. His family flew from all over Germany only to see his solemn face stare at the blank wall and make vivid images from it. Now, Klause was respectable and was never a bad host. Maybe it was his need to control his surroundings, or maybe it was rooted in making others feel welcome, but even now he could not force himself to pretend as if any of those courtesies were appropriate. Hidden whispers surrounded him. The worry was that he would harm himself, for he now had nothing for which to live: no family, no life, no God. The most troubling manifestation of the accident was his impulsive atheism; it had caused him to succumb to cynical ideations of a false reality. This loss of faith led to multiple suicide

In the past his wife was a counterweight to his dark cynicism. Maria was the epitome of a good catholic, giving and sweet, but reacted unapologetically to her husband’s lack of faith. She force-fed lines and ideas that he knew were outdated and incorrect, but he went along with it anyway, mostly for her peace of mind and as a continuous sacrifice that came with raising their children as catholic. We also knew about his gun, something we begged him not to buy after a small theft. “For protection.” he said. We all knew about his past; however, Maria assured us that the past was long gone; he was new and accepted God. Now, we had no Maria to assure us, and we had no one to tell us that he would never hurt himself. His siblings rushed over, unable to lay their hands on what we thought was Klause’s “ticket” to finally end his suffering. We looked in the closets, in the drawers, in the kitchen, but it was all in vain. We shed tears, but his face lay unmoved as we begged to know where he had placed his weapon. Finally, he spoke. “No, I would never. I will do everything to live. If I hurt myself, I will never get my one chance to see them again.”

attempts. His siblings were the same way, intellectual and

His brothers stood breathless, the doctors shook their heads;

stubborn, but they had never entertained thoughts of death,

we all poked at the idea that he would in fact try to move

and now he was so close to it that we all feared that he

on, but nevertheless, he persisted in his neurotic fantasy,

would take the leap and end his intolerable suffering

hoping that he would see them all again.


Sherry Zhang

Inspired by Eavan Boland’s “Lava Cameo”

Apartment on Royalty Court 48

This is a vivid memory of mine — They lived on Royalty Court. A two bedroom one bathroom apartment devoid of Internet and cable and so much more. Their possessions were limited. Clothes. Ancient relics that had been in the family for years. Shoes. Fossils providing evidence of evolution of their growing feet. Toys. A want yet not a need, it seemed, a rare phenomenon that occurred only when the stars aligned. If I say that looking back on a childhood here, on the street erected with homogenous red-brick structures in a seemingly impoverished area, was mundane and desolate if I suggest that young child, at the tender age of six who looked forward to the occasional trip to the market a street over, who wanted to play outside yet had no companion to, was lonely — then consider this: this is when they had the most, the richest laughs, the wealthiest memories, the most figures in their bank account. Perhaps here on Royalty Court did live a king, queen, and two princesses.

Brickell Building | Amber Nolan | Scratch board


Jonah Snyder

This place is perfect. Your resting head on my shoulder Your light breathing, Which I can faintly feel on my arm And your sunshine hair, falling all over the place The cool air of the coach bus bringing a welcomed chill And the softness of the velvet seats Feeling each bristle individually on my skin. The trees passing outside So quick that if you fix your gaze, it’s a green blur Brief glimpses of the wildlife, Almost a hundred green iguanas With skin like sandpaper Lying out in the warm sun, which feels like a foreign object in this moving refrigerator. But in here it feels more like home The rough pages of this book running under my fingers Like the skin of the iguanas And you, Sitting there, harmless, sleeping In the comfort of my cotton ball hoodie This place is perfect.


Chaos | Armber Nolan | Acrylic Paint


Strange Fruit Amber Robinson


The recommended daily fruit serving size for a girl my age is 1 ½ cups,

Yet the strange fruit on the poplar tree is too far up. The ones stained with bloody sap are too ripe, Philando, Sandra, Deborah, Alton, and let’s not forget about Mike, The African-American police brutality prototype. Cherry-pick, Contradict, Don’t forget the shooting script.

Do not reach for your wallet, Whether center console or your visible front pocket. Everyone will know your name when you are dead. After Rigor Mortis fades, you’ll crumble like Aunt Jemima’s cornbread. I can’t even stomach hearing your name alongside “thug,” “angry,” “aggressive,” “threatening,” No one ever told me that I can’t put hot sauce on the unsettling. Emmett. . . till the Earth for crops, Just because the grass is green does not mean “Go!”

Remember he threatened you . . . He was a gangster and we already have his mugshot readily available for Fox News.

Plant them in the ground,

You will be on paid leave from the station,

I don’t even like watermelon,

call it an early vacation.

Not once did I hear Mother Nature say, “The white seeds are safe, angelic

My brother was six feet five inches…deep in the hole,

But the black seeds are dangerous felons.”

Slave patrol,

The black seeds are not poisonous,

the modern African-American birth control.

Yet the water in Flint is still poisonous.

Do not run,

Watermelons are over 90% water and before you bled out, you were mainly water.

the bloodhounds. . . I meant canines. . .might think you are a runaway slave, If you are not running to the finish line or the end zone,

To keep them down.

The other part was natural sugar, brown sugar.

you must learn how to behave.


You were too sweet for this world, Some people are just cavity prone. Your skin was too flavorful, gravy, honey, Whole wheat, chocolate bunny. Your skin accidently read “Open Season,” “Shooting Target,” Now you are the newest addition among the garden. The rose that grew from concrete, Underneath Alton Sterling and Eric Garner’s body heat. The only three words that matter to me are , , ,


Even the southern breeze makes me suffocate, The hugs indicating that they can’t relate. The looks screaming, “That was a piece of cake.” “One less Section 8.” “One step closer to a tax break.” “One less “hood handshake.” “One less “headache.” You can flip the script, But even “C-O-P becomes “P-O-C.” I swallowed the fruits of my labor, To keep you from stealing them. So when you call me “lazy” just know that it is a synonym. For persevering through another day, Coming home to watch my children play, Making it home from the subway, Oscar Grant-ed another day. 54

QUEEN | Laura Gonzalez | Acrylic


The Stars are Brighter in I crouched down to look into her brown eyes. “¿Cómo te llamas?” (What is your name?), I asked. “Aitana” she replied shyly, her little fingers twirling a strap hanging from my backpack. It was hard to hear her over the hammering. Her twinkling eyes looked over my glistening face. Most of the volunteers were meticulously observing Victor’s every move as he showed them how to build a latrine. Beneath a palm’s shade, others observed me curiously. Small, barefoot children who I had yet to meet hugged the doorway of Aitana’s blue wooden house. Gradually, they waddled over. “¿Los conoces?” (Do you know them?), I inquired. She only had to give me one look; there wasn’t a soul in Arroyo Sabana she didn’t know. She introduced me to the little pandilla (gang) and before I could question where we were going, I was being led by the hand with the rest of the pack at our heels. She waved over a beautiful twenty-yearold woman who had been sitting next to the other volunteers. It was only when she stood that I noticed the bump under her shirt holding unborn life. As she approached, the age marks that had prematurely settled onto her face became visible. I tried not to look startled when five-year-old Aitana called her “Mamá”. I put the thought aside as the two helped me under the barbed wire and onto the vibrant green grass of the campo (field). What followed was enchanting. In the distance, thick clusters of trees dotted luscious hills. Up ahead lay a pond which a cow had once fallen into once; Aitana related the story to me animatedly. Her spirit, free as the birds flying above, soared over the campo. I salivated as her mother described the fruit each tree bore as we strolled under their much-appreciated shade. I had been so mesmerized by the whole experience that I had failed to notice the other volunteers trailing


Natalia Rovira

behind us. At the town’s boundary, we returned. Crossing the entrance of Aitana’s house, I carelessly glanced inside. Instantly, my heart dropped. Three cots, draped sadly with mosquito nets, stood in the corner over a bare, grimy floor. The pale light from the small, singular window of this one-room house illuminated the dirty plates that rested on a small table. How foolish of me to forget where I was, and why I had come. How ignorant of me to be hypnotized so easily by Aitana’s childhood happiness. I worked the rest of the evening in a daze.

“These people are dripping in “riches”. Rich with pure happiness. Rich with love for family, friends, and total strangers.” Eight days later, ten latrines had been constructed for ten different families. Prior to this mission trip, they had all practiced highly unsanitary opendefecation. I spent my final, humid night in the campo attempting to identify constellations alongside volunteers I had come to view as family. It was under these magnificent clusters of cosmic creation that I had a revelation. Before this trip, I had looked at poverty from a privileged, capitalistic, and distinctly American point-of-view. If poverty was a lack of economic comfort and stability, Arroyo Sabana was dirt poor. This is far from the truth, however. The blindness to the “harsh” reality I experienced under the spell cast by Aitana and the other locals I met was no witchery. These people are dripping in “riches”. Rich with pure happiness. Rich with love for family, friends, and total strangers. Rich in appreciation for their few possessions. Rich in passion for their campo. Rich with everything that our society’s “rich” oddly lack.

102 Degrees Farenheit | Camille Farge | Photography


Where I Live Catarina Fernandez

i. I live between my two ears; between the clouds and the dirt and two clumsy teenage hands ii. I live in the mind of the artist. A reckless artist, who sometimes closes his eyes, and never rinses his brush. He tries to paint me in colors that don’t exist (at least not on this planet). iii. I live in the periphery, in a house only ever seen by God and restless drivers. No one ever visits my side of town on purpose. iv. I live on Venus with Aphrodite. Together we take hot baths in volcanoes, And cuddle in its craters. I dream of the days when our worlds will collide.


Blank| Laura Gonzalez| Mixed Media




Yellow, I have an eye on you |Laura Gonzalez | Acrylic, oil pastel and pen


FUTURE camille FACES farge When did you realize you were interested in design? When I was thirteen, my blind eyes were opened to design. Fashion is constantly present in any individual’s life. How? It is because every single day, we have the choice of what to wear. Compared to your average person, this process is more than just that for me. Getting dressed has grown to be my favorite part of the day.

Describe your personal style? How does it relate to your designs? My personal style is bold but simultaneously chic. I choose to utilize vivid colors and patterns in each of my outfits. I am drawn to wear items that stand out through their originality. My aim is to be very authentic but at the same time classic. I love to take a unique perspective on my looks, adding different colors, shoes, and patterns. My favorite patterns are stripes and polka dots. These are seen throughout my wardrobe and designs. My favorite colors are red and yellow which, like the patterns, are seen throughout the entirety of my wardrobe and my designs.

A Charmed Life | Camille Farge | Colors on paper


OF FASHION What inspires your designs?

The main source of my inspiration is my French culture. My most treasured memories were made where I spent my serene summers in the French Riviera. This Edenic setting influences the way I dress and the way I design. There is a plethora of alluring qualities in the French Riviera. The contrast between the vibrant colors of the beach against the historically-rich region, as well as the fresh and fragrant foods available at the nearby “marché”, are unrivaled. Nevertheless, my designs are not solely based

on this. I find visions for my work through traveling. My latest collection is provoked by the ravishing country of India. This collection draws its origins from not only Indian culture but also France. My travels have shed light on new ideas, new colors, and new aromas which I implement in my designs. I am lucky to be able to travel to unique places where I always bring my camera. I take countless pictures and then look back on my pictures and obtain my inspiration through the details of each picture. A Charmed Life | Camille Farge | Colors and fabric on paper

Portrait | Maude | Photography

A Charmed Life | Camille Farge | Colors and fabric on paper



What inspires your designs?

personal style and designs describe who I am.

From walking down the street, looking at what people are wearing, the architecture, different cultures, to the different patterns on the crosswalks or stop signs inspires me. Everything inspires me to create.

What is your favorite part of the process? My favorite part is drawing the designs and letting my creativity flow on the paper. This is the most fun part because this is when I design the actual piece of clothing and use my inspiration that I gathered throughout my experiences.

What exposure have you had to designing and making clothes? The first time I was exposed to sewing was in 5th grade. My cousin, Lucila Astarloa, who is a fashion designer came to Miami from Argentina for vacation and she taught me how to sew cute little flowers and put them on headbands. I remember going into the fabric store and buying a ton of fabric and buying several types of fabric. I began cutting out the flowers and sewing them together to place on the headbands. My friends loved them, so I started to sell them. Then in high school I began to take classes with a fashion designer who taught me how to make my first pair of pants and jacket. This was the first time I saw my designs come to life and that’s when I knew.

How would you describe your personal style? I feel like my personal style and my fashion pieces are similar in some ways but different in others. For my personal style I use colors that are more neutral rather than bright, which I use more for my designs. Also, my designs are more eye opening than my laid back personal style. In the end, both my


Dreamy denim | Francesca Bornancini| Colors and fabric on paper

Urban sunset | Francesca Bornancini| Colors on paper


OF FASHION bornancini

Why did you decide to create your designs into clothing? It’s one of the best feelings when I turn my designs into physical clothes. Seeing how something that was sketched on a plain piece of paper come to life is astonishing. Also, seeing what I can accomplish gives me confidence that I will be able to get better and better everyday by turning my designs into physical clothes and gaining experience.

Urban sunset | Francesca Bornancini| Photography, fabric and colors on paper

Bornancini fashion modeled by Catherine Briscoe

Portrait | Valentino Bornancini| Photography


Bliss | Maria Villa | Acrylic

The Value of Music Kevin An

It is said that art is not merely the appreciation and creation of beauty. It is also a different way of laughing and crying, of loving and remembering, of hoping, dreaming, and celebrating. It allows us to creatively express, share, and understand our complex emotions in ways not otherwise possible. Conversely Oscar Wilde once wrote, “All art is quite useless.” At an early age, I was torn between these two polar views. Art was everything and nothing at all. I hadn’t fully understood Wilde’s maxim. When I was six, my parents decided to send me for piano lessons. I entered a room where an old lady sat in a dim room lit with a small lamp. Across from her lay a desk covered in papers, and pushed up against the wall loomed a great old wood box strung with black and white keys. My teacher told me, in Chinese, to press the keys with my fingers. I did so, but her game had many rules. She spat out the orders: sit up straight, feet flat, palms arched as if holding a ball, fingers curled. Press the keys, but only these, and do all of this at this exact instant in time, in accordance with the symbols on the paper. I followed instructions, without understanding why. I knew the goal was to make interesting, ordered sounds; what I couldn’t figure out was why it mattered so much. I told my mom that I hated piano. She understood my feelings, but I had just started. First impressions are often misleading. Perhaps, she told me, with time and experience, I would grow to like it. I doubted this, but relented. And so, she bought a piano, continued to pay for lessons, and I suffered countless hours of practice. Her goal for me was for me to become better than everyone else, to become one of the elite. When

that didn’t happen, she tried again by introducing me to the French horn. This time, I had much more success. When I joined band in middle school and played with other kids, I quickly found that I had achieved, to an extent, my mom’s goals, and I liked the idea that I was exceptional. Music became a competition. It was during these first few years of my “musical career” where I made truly “bad” art. Since that time, my views on what is “good” and “bad” art have changed dramatically. Although I once considered myself quite advanced in middle school (and I was, technically), I no longer believed I was truly good. Up until recently, good art to me was simply whatever I thought was beautiful. Beethoven and Chopin were good because their work, at least, sounded pleasing, but rap and dubstep, they were bad because they are spoken rhyming obscenities and computer generated noise. After a series of discussions with a musician friend however where he suggested that “all of art is practically screaming at you to not rank artists”, I changed my mind. I realized that my way of distinguishing the good and the bad was quite selfish. Rap isn’t bad just because I don’t relate to its message and don’t like the way it’s presented. Art is only bad is if it has no purpose, if it’s made without care. When I got to high school, I had lost the arrogance I gained from my achievements. At that age, suddenly kids with superior musical prowess were much more common, and compared to them, I was almost embarrassingly lacking. And thus, the competition ended; so, I found new motivation for loving music. Music became a means for me to express myself and to form relationships with strangers and strengthen those with friends. I embraced Wilde’s definition, art with no preconceived judgements or purposes or even rigid rules, just “art for art’s sake”. I was playing the notes but not listening to the music.


The walk home had seemed pleasant enough. But then I reached the curb. A voice, gruff, Asked me if I wanted to live. There was a pause, then a “Yes” from me—the obvious answer to give. Confusion becomes panic as a gun emerged from shadow which Hands followed and soon after the face of a man whose eyes Are staring at the lump in my pocket with glee As he tells me that to breathe I’ll have to pay a fee.

Reflective City | Francesca Bornacini | Photography

I scan the streets but we’re all alone Save for the company of his guide, Death, Whose icy hands choke all rationale And now I see my children before me with round eyes Pleading me to forget the money and come home Because who’ll raise them and pay the bills and Always watch out for the big bad monsters at night. But the only monster I see is the one before me With eyes that rage with the flames of Hell And a finger at the trigger that’s itching to twitch Oh, why can’t he see things from my side of the gun?



Reflective World | Francesca Bornacini | Photography

Sides Tomas Clavijo-Garcia

I know he’s expecting death. They often do. But my intent is to run. If only he knew. Prize in hand, I step back two. People, just meet my demand, I’m no angel of death! All I wish is to be able to raise my children and pay the bills, To shield them from the monsters—Famine and Poverty—is my will, Their round eyes plead for me to come home, stay safe, forget the money. But there’d be no round eyes if I didn’t bring in some dough. And nobody’s hiring. And street begging is tiring. God forbid I become a murderer—I’m not one yet though. I know what they think. I wish people saw my other sides. For now, I turn and run, Love still my guide.


Why I learned to sing the National Anthem before saying my own Name Sara Hartzell

Growing up a military brat, weekly trips to the gun range were customary father-daughter bonding experiences. On Career Day at my elementary school, I had members of some of the most elite teams in the military at my fingertips. Our family parties consisted of Green Berets, Navy SEALs, and the occasional admiral swapping wartime stories. On “Take Your Child to Work” days you could find me ecstatically riding around base in tanks. At first, when my father excitedly told my family that he was to be stationed in Germany, I bawled at the thought of leaving my neighborhood playmates, not realizing that the three years I lived overseas would serve as the most enjoyable years of my life. Not only am I well-versed in the customs of typical suburban Virginian culture and tough-love military culture, but I’m also at home with orderly German culture


and Latin-infused American culture from living in Germany, Virginia, and Miami. Not everything has been positive however. My Uncle Matt had taken one step in the wrong direction during a mission in the war-torn country of Afghanistan. He was stolen from us forever. There was also my father’s absence at countless birthday parties and Christmases and later the painfully torturous hospital visits and chemotherapy treatments my father underwent as a result of being exposed to chemicals in Iraq. Consequently, I have formed the utmost respect for those who serve, and as a result of these events, I have grown into a young woman who seeks out new experiences, whose personality has been molded by the hands of multiple different cultures, and who has been inspired by the sacrifice of others.

Toy Soldiers | Matthew Gonzalez | Oil Pastel

Night Contemplations Contemplaciones Nocturnas 10:30 a veces te busco en las estrellas. espero la caída del sol para voltear los ojos hacia los cielos vuelo encima de oraciones de mi niñez y dejo que el suspiro de la noche me sople hacia ti 11:34 pretendo que jugamos a los escondidos. te envuelves alrededor de la luna abrazando sus curvas y llenando cráteres con risas que mantienen la gravedad 11:45 nochecitas silenciosas. si miro cuidadosamente te veo entre nubes en puntillas sobre cumbres mirando otras galaxias 11: 50 te entrego mis tiernas lágrimas para que riegues las estrellas para que florezcan como los claveles blancas y sinceras. 11:57 me disfrazo con la sombra de la noche y desato trenzas rociadas por el polvo de cometas.

11:59 Y cuando te encuentre te preguntaré si has visto mis ángeles guardianes Y sobre las malvadas brujas en escobas viejas Y cuando regreses podré contarte sobre los veranos acalorados y las navidades agotadoras 12:00


Nicole Marino

Night Contemplations 10:30 sometimes I look for you in the stars i wait for the sun’s descent to turn my eyes towards the skies i fly on childhood prayers and drift on the night’s breath 11:34 i pretend we are playing hide and seek. you wrap yourself around the moon hugging its curves andfilling its craters with your laughter that holds its own gravity 11:45 silent nights. if I look closely enough i can see you between clouds tiptoeing on mountain tops peeking into other galaxies

11:50 i give you my tender tears to water the stars so they can blossom into carnations saintly and white.

11:57 i dress up with the night’s shadow and undo braids peppered with comet’s dust

11:59 and when I find you i’ll ask you if you’ve seen my guardian angels and about evil witches on old brooms and when you return I can tell you about hot summers and weary Christmases.

12:00 Aurora Borealis | Evan Barron | Photography


Get the Aliens Out Part 1 | Veronica Webber | Acrylic and Felt Tip


Get the Aliens Out Part II | Veronica Webber | Acrylic and Felt Tip


Eye Vision | Francesca Bornancini | Photography and Digital Art


Sight Alexandra Conroy

I sat on the front porch of my best friend’s

until the early hours of the morning, the country

cabin in North Carolina. My breath came out in

music could be heard playing, soft beats echoing

puffs of visible white frost while the southern drawl

into the darkness.

of country music played in the background. I was sixteen but this was the first time I

It’s incredible the way nature works. One moment it can come in charging like a roaring beast

had ever seen snow. For a full five minutes, my

and the next it can settle its wings softly over the

friend recorded my excitement on her phone,

face of the earth. It is a never-ending cycle of death

laughing whenever I did because she was happy to

and rebirth, a way for the world to replenish itself:

be the first person to show me this side of nature.

water that flows turbulently and cleanses, earth

After our initial wave of joy, both of us sat quietly,

that decomposes and grows, air that suffocates and

dressed only in our fuzzy pajamas with a woolen

breathes, fire that burns and lights the way.

blanket her mother had draped over our shoulders, watching the snow fall and waiting for the sun to rise.

Amidst the beauty, there is also great pain: poverty, suffering, starvation, and disease which shake the very core of humanity. We know terrorism

Everything was peaceful then. Nature

is on the rise. We know climate change is real. We

moved slowly, calmly. The smell of pine penetrated

know all of this and yet we choose not to see, but

the cool air while in the distance deer lingered on

in that moment, curled up with a blanket around me

the side of the road. Time had stopped, suspended in

listening to the sounds of night, I knew.

a beautiful moment, and all throughout the night,

I want to see everything.


El Doctor

Carlos Rodriguez

of experience. Obviously it was a

he always told his two daughters

of medical school, Rafael Feliu

huge opportunity as it would secure

and their friends about the evils

graduated in 1954. Five years

his job and family for as long as

of the Communist government.

later, Cuba reached the conclusion

he promised to be loyal to the

He expressed to them daily the

of its revolution and Fidel Castro


need to preserver, to never betray

After struggling in his first year

emerged victorious claiming the

Rafael’s response was

themselves, and to always be tools

hearts and minds of many. The

unexpected, “The scrubs of my

for the betterment of others and

government underwent a dramatic

teachers are much too loose for me


change that affected all facets of

to wear them.”

life, including the medical sector

His daughters went on to

Due to this, Rafael’s

become doctors. They fled

of the country. Beginning with the

breakthrough was not recognized

Cuba due to their hatred for the

Ministry of Public Health, Castro

by the Ministry of Public Health or

government that took their beloved

placed loyal followers in power and

by the Government.

father’s life and broke so many of

replaced all high ranking medical officials in hospitals, given their jobs before the revolution, with new promising doctors that were just starting their careers. Rafael quickly showed that he was a prime candidate for this promotion. Unlike most doctors in Cuba at the time, he did not limit himself to “Cuban

Openly defying the Ministry,

The scrubs of my teachers are much too loose for me to wear them.

their friends. The eldest daughter, Regina Feliu, went to New York to reestablish herself as a doctor in a new country despite not being able to speak the language or having any experience with the culture; while the other, Cecilia Feliu, went to Miami and became a respiratory therapist while raising her son of eighteen months.

Medical Knowledge” but looked

Rafael was seen as a rebel and

overseas and revolutionized fetal

was punished accordingly. He was

I was a child, asking about my

care. Integrating the Duhamel

banned from practicing medicine

mother’s father,she would smile

Procedure that he learned from

at Calixto Garcia, one of the most

and look to the heavens, always

French doctors, Rafael drastically

prestigious hospitals in Cuba. He

turning away from me, and say that

decreased the mortality rate for

was forced to move to La Benefica

he was here with us- that he was

children born with Hirschsprung

as punishment. He passively

always watching over me. I never

Disease in Cuba. The Ministry,

accepted, unwilling to show his

really understood why she never

impressed, offered the position of

anger as he knew it would please

looked at me until I was finally tall

Chief of General Surgery to Rafael,

the Ministry. At this hospital he

enough to see her grief-stricken face.

This was unprecedented. To think

worked until he died, teaching his

that this was offered to a new

fellow surgeons while keeping his

surgeon with less than ten years

political views quiet; however,


I still remember, how when

Ninety-Six | Camille Farge | Photography


Gaia | Angelica Neyra | Clay


The Exotic Garden Of Monaco Eric Sokhn

Its Koi Pond sits high overlooking a narrow valley Just a stone’s throw from the Mediterranean. The fish struggle to make their way back Through bubbling water as viscous as syrup. Sweltering heat waves from the sun Deny air from my lungs. Cacti stand tall, unaware they don’t belong. A cool cave rests at the bottom. Dormant. No way back to the top.



loss in two parts Michelle Huang


L’œil | Camille Farge | Photography



my mother’s father dies the year he was born when the dragon reared his head and swallowed what was left of his ashes, coloring the door-less hospital room in autumn char he is eighty-four years kind two lungs faint, but his hair stays a new moon waning across pallid temples i wonder if he has traced his path among the constellations i am twelve years callow, cradled seven-thousand miles far from solace and it is the first time death rakes his mangled nails beneath my skin a gentle hush of rain tiptoes through the open doorway and I feel the wind swathe me in its woven veils, rocking me while trickling tears join the raindrops on the day of his funeral we cover our mirrors with heavy black tarp, stretching it over the wooden frames before we walk to the cemetery at dusk the breeze sweeps by but the sticks of incense we carry stay glowing, burning a light that will not go out and we kneel to plant them in the flower beds along the concrete fireflies finding a way home when the sky dims we head down to the cobblestone and set fire to paper, paper houses, paper promises, paper cranes we folded from a time we could still tuck our edges together into rocking chairs the pea & her carpenter a sacrifice, red like the embers incandescent in the name of the lost the sparks burst to warm the air around us i watch as the gales lift them higher and higher and higher and higher pinpricks of flame in the darkness until they are one with the stars.



my father’s father dies the year he was born when the rooster’s crow dissolved serpents into smoke, thick like gray blankets of winter snow that will not fall, stifling the room with its closed windows he is eighty-four years strong his skin sinks inwards, shipwrecked in a glass bottle, casting shadows from his eyes but his voice is still a church of rings, soaking through the sponge of my bones i wonder if i can hear it echo if i press my ear to the wind i am seventeen years hollow seven miles far from closure but i know death he is an old boyfriend, who comes unexpectedly, who does not bother with formalities, who tracks muddy footprints on the kitchen tile and carves our initials into the cutting board with his penknife (dulled with use) i feel a gust rush past before i wipe the salt from beneath my eyelids, sullied crystal flowing into my palms, reckless & ugly and my shoulders flutter like the leaves above on the day of his funeral i carry a ribbon in my left pocket and a lighter in my right both red, like my borrowed pendant, like my cousin’s lipstick, like a dehisced wound i look into the mirror and slip my mother’s chained agate underneath my open collar, waiting for the wind to break as we drive to the cemetery at noon it is my grandmother’s birthday she is eighty-seven years wise and this is the first time i see her tears (they water his open grave) and in some ways i hope it is not the last when the sun is at its highest point we walk among the headstones to watch him return to the earth, and i pick a rose (its petals blanched, the way all flesh goes) & a marigold (in his name, i am the last to wear it) to place over his closed chest we are silent as we turn our faces, blind when the ground swallows him whole i blink up at the sky and squint into the brightness listening to the air still as we leave.


A Charmed Life | Camille Farge | Photography


Driven | Camille Farge | Photography


Maria Camas Latching on to the iron, aged pages of silver, gold, and bronze, of cascading colors that rule over the sky, of an array of assorted candies, the desolate survivors of the crevice embedded on your jeans. Recalling absentmindedly the pitter- patter of footsteps that run amok, the beams of sporadic light casting a draping shadow, the silent cries of anguished beasts, a tumultuous revolt unfolding on cherished land.

And how courage begets promise And how those wanderers encountered the kings of persistence And how the jocotes rung endlessly announcing a lethargic loss And how a grief-stricken wrinkly face full of remorse, fails to forget The smell of crimson fields amongst the promised land


Cold War| Leila Padron| Oil Pastels, Ink


Time is the Most Important Thing We Have the Least of | Kristin Davis | Acyrlic Paint


drops Nicole Marino

He doesn’t like me when I’m sober he likes the oblivious intoxication sewed into my eyes by rum tears and bourbon burns he likes controlling the throne that isn’t his pouring my no’s into his cup to drown his woes he likes inundating the corners of my body with Jack Daniels and Becks pretending to row a drunken ship He doesn’t like me sober because it’s harder to ravish bouquets he enjoys the drunken fog That loosens my grip on vandalized petals He doesn’t like me sober because he doesn’t understand himself sober so he distracts himself with tight skirts and tipsy kisses


This piece is made of medical supplies that my

more veins that can be used and no more skin to

father used during his illness. I have tried to

make more drafts. Even though the patient may

represent our vulnerability as human beings in the

sign constant informed consents forms, are these

face of sickness. Even the most well-intentioned

really his decisions? Does he really have another

health-care givers, need to intervene, hurt, pinch,

choice than to let himself be invaded by cancer?

ope rate, extract, mutilate, and make suggestions

Does he really choose to have a laryngectomy, only

that can radically change your life. The sick person

later to be burnt by radiotherapy and intoxicated by

has to undergo a myriad of procedures and an

chemotherapy? Are these really his decisions? Or is

endless amount of tests and interventions, leaving

he a puppet of fate?

him feeling tired, confused, and hurt. There are no


Eva Bibas Medium: Medical Supplies and Digital Print Size: 42” X 1’ X 1’

Medical Supplies Used: suction catheters/ syringes/ glove/ protective arm sleave/ yankauers / tourniquet band / tracheostomy tube


Andy/Acrylic Paint on Tag Board/ Gisel Anuez


Complex Cause

Nathaniel Miller

What do a slave in the 1800th century, a black male in the 1900th century, and a convicted felon today have in common? None possess the very inherent characteristic of democracy: suffrage. The chains of antebellum America have been handed down to the son of the hard-working African-American, then inherited by the troubled teenager, caged by his environment. The relic of our disgraceful past still pervades our modern day, promoted by an adaptive, oppressive institution. A crisis faces our country, unlike most others we have seen, but yet so familiar. War could not bring us out of this depression. Trade could not correct this egregious deficit. Only a little bit of time and a revision of skewed cultural perceptions formed over centuries, exploited by politicians and sensationalized by modern media can rectify this glaring injustice. Sound simple enough? Mass incarceration, a phenomenon of which few are aware, yet its support is extensive. Tough on crime. Law and order. Buzzwords that hand elections to demagogues, in the same breath initiating an ever-expanding spiral directed towards poverty and abuse, targeted at the very few that possess very little. From which roots are these strange fruit borne? Those anchored in the soil of America, where centuries ago, enslavement broke through the ground. Its foundation expands, nourished by the acid rain that burns a hole through the freedom that fills this field. The trunk begins to take shape, sustained by the sunlight that invigorates this institution, racist legislation. After decades, however, this solid base begins to falter. The sunlight now shielded by clouds of progress, owing to abolition. The constitution has weakened this disgraceful tree, while the seeds of liberty

germinate around it. Fast forward 30 years, though, and the tree has now rejuvenated, the sky clears once again. Grandfather clauses and poll taxes beam through the atmosphere, contaminating the soil with the toxin of discrimination. Before long, branches form, the onset of Jim Crow tainting the partly replenished ground. The tree continues to poison everything it touches. The larger it gets, the more nourishment it steals from the surrounding life. Foliage forms, shading all of the vicinity, thus depriving everything of the light needed to survive. Freedom withers as oppression flourishes. Once again, intervention is endured, surviving yet another era of social advancement, out of which it emerges tougher. A half-century of uninterrupted growth has now bred handcuffs and ankle bracelets, reminiscent of the shackles that predated them. This fruit, although succulent to some, is bitter to others. Some feast off the misfortunes of few, profiting from their struggle; whereas others have had their worlds torn apart. This perpetuates the cycle that thrust them into this situation originally. A phony war has been waged on inner-city America, aggrandized by misconceptions on crime that posed opportunities for politicians and businessmen to seize. The peculiar institution has taken on several forms, morphing as the times require. Regardless of the era, one thing remains true: racism is the root. The question is, however, how can its effects be limited, if not eradicated? It is cultural, learned not inherited, but how can a cultural bias be eliminated if it has formed over several generations? There lies no panacea for this illness, but I ask, is there no temporary palliative?


The Purification of the Past Rachel Betancourt

Long, lean arms— Brushing on crisp, white stripes— Move back and forth. Confusing clarity for an eraser, and kindness for bleach. Desperately climbing up And leaning over — until every facet and face and flame is white as snow. Suddenly—traces of vermilion slowly peek through the porcelain veil, and he knows he will have to roll on yet another coat, because blood spilt from broken promises can never be washed out. With his trousers and torso tainted crimson, He forcefully presses on the paint— again and again and again Does he not realize that no amount of purity can hide his demons? That not even an infinite amount of paint can remove the stains of his hell? Beware. Sin is forever.


Searching | Eva Bibas | Wall paint on thick paper


New York State of Mind | Francesca Bornancini | Photography


Maybe I don’t know, but I think this is happy Daniela Hernandez-Gil

The world moved like a Kodachrome still across the

The black satchel had held me company on the bus, and

black and white garden that was my imagination.

once again my eyes drifted to the flap opening. It teased

The images were blurred and hazy, reluctant to allow

me until I could not feel myself searching for what I

my eyes to grasp their color, and I could not force even

always had. Yellow-rimmed scissors broke the monotone

my bag to remain quiet on the train. The slight jingle

land of gray.

of the keys disrupted the tires rolling quickly through

The setting sun witnessed the chaotic snipping of my

the smooth road, competing with the old engine. My

long brown hair, and the pieces fell like feathers onto the

universe was nauseating, and every memory came in

dirt, near the road. Any bus that would pass through the

pangs as I hit my head on the dirty glass window.

frigid countryside would now take pieces of my sadness

The fingerprints seemed to form a face smiling back at

with them, dispersing it and diluting it with the kisses

my glout. I could finally read the writing on the wall.

on cheeks, complete resolution, and purrs of cats. Each

The bus slowed, and for a second the momentum froze

strand would fall separately, an ease on my gloom as

time but the push back to my seat only solidified that this

they were set free.

was in fact, real. My legs were recovering from the numbness and my neck felt hot slashes as I stretched my body into the halftone field of gray, and I smiled remembering everything was better in black and white. I could just stare as the stars touched the sky,

It felt like the rebirth of an epoch, even the amaranth of the trees stood still and admired simply what was new light. I ran away. Not from something, to something. My childlike glee filled the field in laughter as I sprinted to the shallow grave next to the river. The violent whips

twinkling their hues of pink and blue as I rested on

only subdued under the power of the brown earth, but I

the cold gravel. They alluded me with tears of yellow

could finally see the greens and blues and reds beneath

and white, and I wondered what they thought of my

all the soil.

consolidation in our new residence beneath a sea of tint.


Jackson Ribler

Inspired by Walt Whitman’s ‘Continuities’ and a very broken heart

Radiant was the tender flame

Should regret stoke the pyre,

that I did so duly douse.

what remains would surely gleam.

Ephemeral was the fleeting flare

Should a tinder soon rekindle,

who left so long ago.

would the fervor flame restore.

Warm was the initial blaze

And if a spark met a cinder,

which left such a frigid wake.

would dormant coals reignite?

Welcoming were the early embers

With the soot of past set afloat,

that seared and scorched me so.

a tender flame would live again.

Gentle was the gracious glare who singed without remorse. Lustrous was the glistening glow who charred all it swept.


Fire and Water | Kaitlyn Faircloth | Photography


Iron Fists

Tarah Anasseri

I lie next to my grandmother, both

her in bed rest for many months.

inferior, soon came to respect her. Now, in her old age, my

of us bundled in the blanket like a

Looking back on these events, I think

burrito. I admire her soft smile and

to myself, “How can someone who

grandmother continues to be strong

wrinkly skin, her sweet scent, and

was so strong and independent in

and confident. She spends most of

cornucopia of golden-white curls. She

her life end up in such a bad state of

her time living in Germany, but she

hums an Azerbaijani song to herself


occasionally travels back to Iran

while watching her Farsi-translated

Her health was not always this

and comes to visit us in Miami. She

soap opera. A few moments later, the

poor. My grandmother was strong

has seen me go through back-to-

humming abruptly ceases and she

physically and emotionally. She

back all nighters after rigorous and

stares at me with her cataract stricken,

accomplished only a 3rd grade

long volleyball tournaments in order

green eyes.

education, due to the societal norms

to finish homework. There were

of that time period in Iran, which

moments that my exhaustion made me

Farsi, “So, when will you be a doctor

restricted women from having one.

want to give up.


Education was meant for men. Women

She then begins to ask me in

One night, detecting my struggle,

were subject to domestic work, but

she came into my room, and said “You

that I haven’t even finished high

that did not stop my grandmother

see these two fists? Fight for your

school. Seeing how hopeful her

from continuing with her passion for

dreams, be strong, and be wise for

expression was, I continued to say,

sewing and knitting and eventually

yourself. Instead of saying you can’t

“Soon enough”.

opening up her own clothing factory.

do something, say you CAN! But most

My grandfather was very supportive of

importantly, never give up.”

I look at her and laughingly reply

She returns to her humming and soap opera.

her, but many others, especially men,

From that moment on, whenever

were not. They would tell her that she

I feel the slightest bit of doubt in

stops and repeats her question, “So,

would surely fail, since the clothing

myself, I picture her standing in front

when will you be a doctor again?”

industry was mainly dominated by

of me, saying those same words of

men; nevertheless, she opened up her

encouragement. I’ve come to learn,

complained about an immense,

factory. She did all this at the age of

that in these past few years, the reason

pounding pain in her head. We

25, while becoming a widow and also

for my unwavering determination to

told her it was probably a severe

raising five children. Moreover, my

succeed in life has come from my

headache and she pushed through

grandmother went against the grain

grandmother. Ultimately, I hope to

the pain quietly. Little did we know,

and didn’t discriminate when hiring

pursue my dreams of becoming a

her headache was actually due to a

because she always saw the good in

doctor and help people get better,

stroke she was having. Her dementia

people. She thus became one of the

especially my grandmother. Then

developed as a result of this stroke. In

most respected women in Tehran.

maybe one day, she will be lying next

that same year, she had also acquired

Many of the same men who criticized

to me saying,

shingles and broken her back, leaving

her in the beginning and saw her as

“So, you’re finally a doctor. . . ”

Then in a matter of minutes, she

A few years ago my grandmother


Memorial Wall: Part 1 | Gabrielle Feria | ScratchBoard


The Hands of Time “Lava Cameo� Camille Orquera

Two hands that chase one another, never meeting But always just within reach in an endless cycle overlapping each other as each hour, minute, second passes but never embracing. The thrill of endless time and the idea of forever eluded you. It was February when they called. Or was it March? The hands blur my memories and are at the same time the only tangible thing I have left of you. Maybe it was 8:40 pm when they called. If that was the correct time then consider this: There was a cold breeze in mid-February and the wind chill dried the streaks on my mother’s face and if my father were to feel or say anything then I can hear his screams from the parking lot as they echoed the green soccer fields and my brother collapsed in the arms of my mother as the hands of your life simply stopped. Never touching. Come Christmas and a box of your old things arrive at the doorstep. As if they had just remembered that we had loved you too. There they were. The hands that once rested on your wrist were frozen in time encased in old glass as my brother and I fought over their new owners. In the midst of it, they fell to the floor and when brought back up, the hands that had stopped running since you died started their chase once again.


Only this time they were touching.

Power vs. Speed | Christina Bernadotte | Sharpie, Acrylic, Watercolor

Your watch sits in a case above my desk looking down on me as I work everyday. I was never able to fix the hands from when we dropped it. Maybe I never wanted to. And the hands run in an endless loop With the memories of you. Touching.


The Critic Kevin An

Silent, purposeful,

Is it beautiful?

the team walked into

Tell us what you think

The famed museum.

For we do not know, cannot tell ourselves.

Bright light washed over the men in solemn,

Their leader studied,

academic dress,

staring deep in thought

the psychologist

while the men just watched,

in his white lab coat,

breaths held, waiting, in

closely studying


the manners of their strong intelligent

After some minutes,

all-knowing leader.

of examining, she finally made

Your greatness please look,

up her mind and said:

and tell us about the intricacies


of this work of art. The men, excited, What does it all mean?


wrote down her ideas.

Giraffe | Amber Nolan | Watercolor


I believed it would be hard to use watercolor to complete these pieces but the watercolor could be manipulated and be very watery and light or thick and pigmented. While making these pieces I discovered how colorful and textured metal and fabric really are. Just in one stitch of fabric there are an abundance of colors. The same as there is in one chain link as shown in multiple of my art works.

In God We Trust | LeiLani Herndon | Watercolor


Lock | LeiLani Herndon | Watercolor

LeiLani Herndon

Time Is Money | LeiLani Herndon | Watercolor

For my pieces I explored the similarities and differences between hard, shiny metals and soft textured fabric. I focused on being highly detailed in the way I painted the metal in each of the works, and completely studied how light bends and refracts off each item. 109

Caladiums | Isabel Cataneda | Watercolor on Gouache


Narcissus | Isabel Cataneda | Watercolor on Gouache


Michelle Marrero

A deep breath and the infiltrating smell of parched Earth consume the lungs with leftovers of human history.

The swift sounds of the brush’s bristles against the dry terrain pick up the remains of 200,000 years’ worth of human narrative,

Including the architectures of ancient Egypt, establishment of religion, vicious wars, the discovery of geometry itself -

All of which had consequences filtering sepia over humanity today.

Humans of today are forced to endure the endless effects of our ancestors’ histories

Becoming saviors of our own establishment, carrying only a single brush and tin can to make our present better than their past.


Refraction of light | Laura Gonzalez | Acrylic on canvas


Artist Interview with Leira Padron by Eva Bibas

What inspired you to make these pieces? Well, Aesop’s fables aren’t exactly popular nowadays; however, they’re still stories that we hear when we’re children and some of them are still referenced today, such as “the Boy who cried Wolf”. Although they’re not exactly child-friendly stories, they still hold a lot of truth and advice that is still relevant. It’s helpful advice, and I felt like they were strong enough stories to draw and challenge myself with. How do you know which stories to pick for pieces? What goes into the selection process? I read them in order, and if a story catches my attention then I select it. I pretty much go by the moral more so than the actual narrative, since I feel that it’s a lot more impactful and the stories themselves are charming on their own. Are the artworks pre-planned or do you just paint what comes to mind as you go along? At the very beginning, I would first read the story and visualize the narrative in my head. Then, I would pick what I thought were the four most important scenes and that’s how I came up with ideas for pieces. Towards the 7th or 8th piece I started planning them out a bit more so that each scene would be more meaningful. Which mediums did you choose to make your pieces and why? I chose to use gloss, gesso and acrylic. Acrylic was used to add that color factor, of course. Gesso and gloss; however, I used gesso because it has a rougher texture than white acrylic which, when combined with the already rough texture that cardboard has, the “old, rough” look I was going for is further accentuated. The gloss I used to not only bring out the colors but also to highlight certain aspects of each panel that


are important. In the case of the piece with the crow, for instance, the cheese the crow is holding has a bit of gloss on it. I mostly use gloss to highlight certain important aspects. What would you categorize your work as? My work was meant to be a set of comic strips ; however, comics nowadays are usually done digitally and they’re a lot longer and more elaborate so I wanted to stay true to traditional art since that’s what I’m comfortable with and I, personally, enjoy doing more so I decided to combine the two and create four-panel paintings in the form of comics. What tools did you use to make your strips? I used a lot of different materials. I used the usual brush and ink pen, but I also used my fingers for a lot of the marks since it makes them more charming and gives them more character. At some points I also used sponges, bags, and even just cardboard cutouts to move the paint around and just give it more of the feeling that the story was trying to convey when it was written. Do you think the surface or texture is important to the overall piece? I think so because it’s not just about drawing out what the story is trying to say; it’s also about putting every factor that you could possibly put into creating the work. Your choice of material and placement of certain textural elements affect the message that people interpret when they look at the work. What did you discover along the way? When I first began I used a limited color palette, which is reflected in the wolf and the crane piece. I was focusing on my whites, blacks and reds: black representing the darkness of the story, white

The Wolf and the Crane

The Frog and the Ox

The Lion and the Mouse

The Fox and the Crow

The above panels were fashioned with the following mediums: gloss, gesso, acrylic, brush and ink sponges, bags, and cardoard cut outs.

The respective morals of the stories are as follow: The Wolf and the Crane: "Gratitude and greed go not together." The Frog and the Ox: “Self-conceit may lead to self-destruction.” The Lion and the Mouse: “Little friends may prove great friends.” The Fox and the Crow: “Do not trust flatterers.”

representing the light and good, and red representing the tragedy that was bound to happen in order to teach the lesson. After a few pieces, though, I began to realize this didn’t make my image visually striking; so, I started to implement more color which can be seen in the crow piece. That added a lot more to the

storytelling aspect since the pieces were now a lot more pleasant to look at and released more information to the eye. By the time I reached the frog and the ox piece, I was already using lots of colors and creating more striking scenes that told the story better.


the bay Eric Sokhn

Nestled along the cozy coastline In a corner of the world long forgotten, The bay sleeps. Lulling forth travelers and foreigners alike, It was once known as Gubal, and now Byblos It now lays dormant, only bearing the scars and Embellishments of the past— How it failed to protect its inhabitants once, maybe more. The tale of a thousand lost lives etched into the stone wharf Molding the image of past dynasties and kingdoms as the Fertile Crescent mourns its people. This was once a place of learning— Where the first alphabet was born. Where the Phoenicians sailed the Mediterranean, trading purple dye. Where the monuments to an empire were erected in a day. This is no longer the case. And I, having once felt the deep pang of separation, No longer miss watching war and tranquility crash over the shore, Or hookah and seafood by the sea.


Crab | Christina Bernadotte | M ixed media



aves nd W les a Circ

t II |




ek |






Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.