Artists Reflect on the Heroes That Inspire Them

Heather Bryant, Writer

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It’s the time of the year again when PVHS students interested in all facets of the arts (including photography, drawing and painting, and even filmmaking) enter into the annual Reflections contest for a chance to win among their peers and fellow entrees.

Reflections allows students to channel their creative energy into their preferred medium, while also tying their work into that year’s theme.

“In different students’ interpretations of ‘Heroes Around Me’ this year, some students have looked at how the anti-hero is necessary to defining a hero, or how the world may seem bereft of heroes around them,” Reflections chairwoman Deanne Shey said of this years’ theme.

“Others have explored how each individual must be their own hero, or the qualities of ordinary people acting with quiet heroism in their daily lives.”

One student chose to write about a compelling story regarding her family’s origin that has proved to be life-changing.

“I entered into the literature category, and I wrote about my grandmother’s escape from Jin Nam Po, North Korea. With her father, mother, and eleven siblings, they all traveled on foot to South Korea for three days in the dark, before being almost captured on their last day of travel,” sophomore Abbie Maemoto explained.

“I chose to write about this because of her unique story that deserves to be told. In a society where our government views immigrants as an issue rather than a gift, I find it especially important that I share my point of view so that people can see immigrants in a new, positive light.”

They sacrificed so much for the good of their family and friends, and they carry a certain fighting spirit that should be shared rather than kept a secret,” Maemoto continued.

Another student chose to write poetry about many of the novels she’s read and how the characters and authors have had a positive impact on her life.

“I entered into Reflections because I love writing poetry, and I also love the satisfaction of finishing a poem or project and knowing that I pulled it entirely out of my own mind,” junior Elianna Harrison went into detail about her work.

“I wanted to express how meaningful books have been and are for me, and also thank the characters, books, and authors I’ve learned so much from.”

One PVHS sophomore decided to go the extra mile and submit two of her works into the visual arts category and a collection of three short poems into the literature category, stating that her inspiration came from multiple sources, such as different movie characters and comic-book heroes that people look up to, and real-life heroes that are in the military.

“My inspiration mostly came from the fact that they are real-life heroes that people look up to and strive to be, and how they are people that you might see everyday that could be a hero for someone in the world,” Willow Wollman said.

“I also just entered into Reflections because I love art and I wanted to support my dad, as well as the general community.”

No matter what students enter into Reflections, the contest appears to be beneficial to their artistic process and their resumes, as well as also supporting the community with their work.

“From a program perspective, we wanted to encourage fledgling artists, writers, photographers, musicians and performers to think about their artistic process as they interpreted the theme of Heroes Around Me… The ideas of art and relevance are especially important in the theme of this year’s 50th Anniversary of the Reflections program,” Shey said.

“Of course we also hope at least some of the PVHS student entries will progress to the next district, state, and national levels too.”

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