Honorable Mention
Gabrielle Gardner   | Nelson Mandela High School
Tears of Joy

A few weeks ago, I was attracted to a painting in my art textbook by the artist Roy Lichtenstein called Crying Girl. It looks like a character from a comic strip. When I read the runaway ad from the New Jersey Gazette, April 23, 1778, describing the relationship of two runaways, Cash and Lewis Wolis and their two children Dianah and a little boy, I had an idea. The tears were what caught my eye. They seemed like tears of joy to me.  I wanted to take the pretty face wiping away her tears in the Lichtenstein painting and transform her into the freed runaway slave Cash.

After looking at many books about colonial customs, clothing, architecture and furniture, I began my colonial makeover. I wanted to show Cash free from slavery. I wanted Lewis and their daughter and son to be safe and happy. I got the idea to have Cash looking at a portrait of her family with tears of joy. She still remembered from where she came even though they had reached the other side. I removed the modern makeup and hair and changed the color of her skin and the shape of her face. I added a colonial bonnet and clothes and made a 19th century picture frame for the family portrait. The only thing I kept was the tears of joy.

2009 Artists

Kirsten Sawyer (1)
Randy Wallace (2)
Tyesha Carter (3)
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Ijayna Barnes (HM)
Gabrielle Gardner (HM)
Suzanna Cole (HM)
Sarah Hartdke (HM)
Liam Houghtaling (HM)
John Morocho (HM)
Chris Nixon (HM)