The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center selected four Winton Woods High School students as recipients for its 2018 Picture Freedom Art Contest. The nationwide competition challenges students to critically think and capture what their definition of freedom looks like today. This year, eight students were present to receive their scholarship awards. The event included a delicious lunch, tour of the museum and ceremony to honor each student for their exceptional artistry.
Winton Woods winners were Mariza Diaz, Princess Dyer, RJ Engleman and Sidney Posey. Two of the four students were present to receive their scholarship awards and gave speeches on their inspiration. Winton Woods junior Sidney Posey received third place and a $1000 scholarship for her piece “Labels”. A colorful drawing of 12 identical images of a sketched body with different words written on them like female, obese, disabled, geek, and poor. The message of her art was no matter where people come from or who they are, everyone is human and should be treated equally. Winton Woods High School graduate Princess Dyer was also present to receive $100 for her painting “I Am Me.” The art piece showcased a portrait of her niece with a bright yellow background of words that told the story of what came before her. Dyer shared her grandmother’s story of her journey to America from Vietnam, and how she overcame adversity. She also provided her definition of freedom and how the Civil Rights Movement paved the way for people of color. “I decided to keep the focal point on my neice to show the optimism she holds in her smile and eyes for the future component of who she is and the sacrifices that were made so she could simply be herself - free from harsh judgement and injustice.”
Each students art piece displayed powerful messages, creative imagery, and was left on display in the museum for the weekend, and for the opening of the Picture Freedom exhibit which will showcase their work through February 2019.