In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, Renaissance sponsored the Shine a Light on Bilingualism student art contest. Learners from elementary, middle, and high school were invited to showcase their proud bilingualism that reflects the rich multicultural background they bring to the classroom. Here are the winning artworks, along with notes from the student artists about what inspired them.
“Me-et the Hispanice Heritage” by Lenox Restrepo, grade 3, the North Hills School, Queens, NY
The inspiration: “I drew the Statue of Liberty because I’m a New Yorker, and I drew an empanada because I’m part Colombian. I wrote words in both languages for it to represent those two languages I speak.”
“Under the Basilica” by Ananya Mantri, grade 8, Northeast Lauderdale Middle School, Meridian, MS
The inspiration: “Multiple features in my artwork symbolize parts of Hispanic culture, such as the colorful banners, sugar skulls, and decorated candles. Other non-concrete aspects of Hispanic culture are also shown, such as a strong belief in religion, through the towering cathedral. The two people communicating on the road show a sense of community. The woman carrying a sack of maize on her back indicates the hard work put forth each day in Hispanic communities. In all, the inspiration for my artwork is the masterful culture of Hispanic communities, which is prominent today and should be recognized for its vibrance.
“As a minority myself, I’ve always looked for representation through many aspects, be it art or anything else. Through this viewpoint, I understand how important it is to represent other cultures.”
“Fusion” by Gabriela Bautista Teíllez, grade 12, Seven Lakes High School, Katy, TX
The inspiration: “Lo que me inspiró para el desarrollo de esta obra fue mi cultura. Soy de México, y me gusta mostrar mi identidad hispana orgullosamente. Quería transmitir la belleza de la fusión de culturas y tradiciones; pienso que esta mezcla es enriquecedora en todos los aspectos.”
What inspired me to develop this work was my culture. I am from Mexico, and I like to show my Hispanic identity proudly. I wanted to convey the beauty of the fusion of cultures and traditions; I think this mixture is enriching in all aspects.
All of these creative depictions of Hispanic culture and bilingualism are available for free download from the Shine a Light on Bilingualism page. National Hispanic Heritage Month, which takes place between September 15 and October 15, recognizes and honors the cultures, languages, and influence of both Hispanic and Latino Americans.