My name is Salvador Juarez. I’m 9 years old and just started third grade. This is the first art contest I’ve joined, but I’ve been drawing and painting since I could hold a crayon. I love to draw, color, paint and create. Art is my passion. When I grow up I want to be a famous painter like Leonardo da Vinci or Van Gogh.
My art piece was made using my hands, tempera paint, and Q- tips. The different colored dots represent diversity. The waves around my hands represent the change that justice can create for us all and the different colors inside my hands reflect that we’re all capable of creating change when we stand up for ourselves and what we believe in.
Esta obra representa la comunidad inmigrante. Tenemos dos países separados, Mexico y USA por un muro a la mitad. El medio círculo que está en la parte de abajo representa el mundo. Tenemos a personas pasando de un lado a otro, en la parte derecha (USA) hay personas sin color lo que significa que no son personas sin estatus legal lo que significa que están pero no están.
This work represents the immigrant community. We have two countries seperated, Mexico and the USA, by a wall in the middle. The half circle below represents the world. We have people going from one side to the other, on the right side (USA) there are people without color which means they are not people without legal status, which means they are there but they are not there.
My drawing is of Eddie Lee Howard, Jr. He is my dad’s pen pal and he was on Death Row in Mississippi for over 25 years before he was let go because he was innocent. They used bad evidence against him. Now he is so happy to be free. He loves to take long baths, ride his mountain bike, listen to Elvis and James Brown, and eat meals he couldn’t have while he was in prison, like popcorn shrimp and yellow melon. When I imagine justice, I think of a world where innocent people never have to go to prison.
I imagine justice as an ideal where people from all walks of life have the opportunity to dream and the means to actualize those dreams. In my art, I have highlighted disability justice by portraying a scene where abled and disabled folks can come together to work in a community garden together and in turn, make our world more accommodating and fair. I have highlighted environmental justice by portraying the importance of community gardening and adopting renewable energy in our communities. Lastly, I have depicted racial justice by showcasing a laughing Black baby lifted up in the air by a grown-up–Black and Brown children deserve to dream and be happy, and also deserve access to means that allow them to actualize their dreams. The Brown girl standing with a jar filled with golden pixie dust in the foreground represents my younger self–someone who envisioned these ideals, and aspires to work towards achieving them in the long-run.
Timothy Evans, Jr.
This piece is about micro aggressions and the impact that they can have on people.
One of my favorite memories of visiting my family back home in Mexico was hiking up a mountain that overlooked my family’s village and taking a scythe to harvest the vibrant prickly pear fruit that grew from each cacti.
I grew up in the Coachella Valley, an area primarily composed of migrant field workers who immigrated to the US and often cross state lines to follow each season’s harvest. As the daughter of a migrant field worker and the granddaughter of a bracero, my family carries an intergenerational understanding that land and labor exploitation are inextricably intertwined. With agricultural fields devastating natural ecosystems in the Eastern Coachella Valley and contributing to the terrible air quality that disproportionately affects migrant workers living in mobile homes, injustices against migrant workers are further compounded by the labor exploitation that occurs in the fields where the threat of deportation ensures cheap wages.
My community continues to be impacted by immigration today, affected by an environment that is hostile on two fronts. People like my dad, who once fell down while harvesting dates in a palm tree, hurt his back, and was given no worker’s compensation, and years later was ultimately deported back to Mexico. And still, of other low-wage workers like my mom, who often works additional hours as a housecleaner without pay.
Yet still, despite the violence that simmers over my neighbors, in my community I find there is beauty in their strength and magic interwoven in their stories that command me to always hold hope for the future.
My piece, titled “Limbo of Forgotten Things,” is inspired by the Chicano murals of the Coachella Valley and an homage to my community. Sketched in pencil, it depicts the calloused hands that toughen as nature responds to the fingers that bring forth fruits out of the earth.
These hands reach out to prickly pear blooms— a worker illuminated by dreams, and propelled by the magic he harvests.