Gabrielle Garcia believes she is not very good at expressing herself with words. She just lets her art do all the talking.
The Edinburg North High School sophomore won the Artistics Discovery contest, a nationwide high school art competition. Her artwork, “We Have Become Something Else,” will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year.
Garcia explained the meaning behind her piece, a drawing made with color pencils.
“I was trying to say that we, the people, are being watched by the higher up and we do not know what is real or not,” she said. “They want us to feel that change is good but when it really is for the worst. They want to have control over society to unexplainable things that we do not question.”
Garcia added the “higher up” is the government keeping watch of society’s actions expecting it to be perfect.
“Our technology keeps growing and will manifest with us, so they want our world to be perfect and they will do anything to accomplish that,” she said. “In the process, we will lose some of our humanity or even our color. We need to fix it and become who we really are and not some robot machine that they built.”
Garcia explained her idea came about from an art assignment. It consisted of taking a picture of themselves outside of the classroom reflecting the light of the sun. The students were told by the art teacher to try to bring meaning behind the picture.
“When my finger was touching my face, I was thinking of breaking off the face but then my thought changed to: ‘What if part of my face looks like a robot, mechanical?’” she said. “So then my idea grew into that.”
Asked about winning the competition, of which she learned via email, Garcia replied, “At first, when my mom told me, I thought she was just making a joke out of it. But, when she was actually reading (the email) from her phone and I looked at it, it astonished me. I still couldn’t believe it, it just never hit me.”
Gabrielle’s mother, Sylvianora Garcia, a Longoria Middle School teacher in Edinburg, also felt very excited that her daughter was chosen as the winner not only from their district, but from all those that competed.
“She’s always been creative,” Sylvianora said. “This is actually the first time (Gabrielle) took an art class, so for her to be acknowledged for something she just started, it’s just amazing. Now she knows that she’s really good and that she can continue working …”
The competition recognizes artistic talent in the nation in each congressional district, in which students submit entries to their representative’s office. Panels of districts’ artists then select the winners.
Although winners are usually recognized at an annual awards ceremony in Washington, this year’s ceremony has not yet been scheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sylvianora said the school will frame Gabrielle’s artwork to send it and to be displayed at the U.S. Capitol soon.