STAND is thrilled to announce the winners of our inaugural Revelations competition!

For more information about Revelations, click here.

After fielding numerous entries from talented, politically minded young artists from across the Pittsburgh area, our team could not be more excited to crown our two co-winners, Serena Hrishenko and Vinka Bencic!

Information about both artists and their pieces can be found below. Each of our artists wrote a blurb about their art, explaining their creative process as well as the civic motivation behind their piece. As part of the honor, both of our winners will have their pieces published in local news, links forthcoming.

the wisdom of frankenstein’s creation

bail

by Serena Hrishenko

by Vinka Bencic

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NOTE FROM THE ARTIST

Gil Scott Heron’s song, “Whitey On The Moon” concludes with the lyrics:

Was all that money I made las' year 

(for Whitey on the moon?) 

How come there ain't no money here? 

(Hm! Whitey's on the moon) 

Y'know I jus' 'bout had my fill 

(of Whitey on the moon) 

I think I'll sen' these doctor bills, Airmail special 

(to Whitey on the moon)

Exasperated by the extreme poverty African Americans faced during the 60’s and 70’s due to white initiatives, Heron suggests that whites pay for his medical bills. The moon landing in some ways reflects the types of inequalities we see in our judicial and prison systems. It exemplifies a  systematic form of racism formatted to keep African Americans impoverished and in jail while wealthy politicians and private jail companies profit off of long term sentences and bails. This painting depicts the the continuation of injustice as a person in jail holds out their own bail bond, a creation of oppression, but with the address changed to,“Whitey On The Moon”.

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NOTE FROM THE ARTIST

Since reading Mary Shelley’s infamous Frankenstein over a year and a half ago, I have been unable to shake of course both the incredible lessons to be gleaned as well as the immense power of the natural world over an individual. Over the past several years, a greater sense of mankind’s duty to preserve the Earth has evolved with the implementation of biodegradable packaging, more eco-friendly daily products, and overall more environmentally forward-thinking pursuits. In this piece, I have strived to bridge these two overarching concepts together- the awe and importance of the natural world in daily pursuits (as exemplified in Frankenstein), and the monumental significance of environmental sustainability. I have utilized only biodegradable and eco-friendly materials in making this piece to show that all aspects of life, including art, can be made more environmentally friendly. Frankenstein’s creation himself is shown overlaying (on a piece of biodegradable acetate!) a smoldering Earth with his eyes as crying planets, mouth as trash, hair as spilled oil, neck as soil being invaded by pipes, and ears emitting industrial steam. The quote "Man," I cried, "how ignorant art thou in thy pride of wisdom!" is again overlayed on acetate as a statement directed towards humanity- we cannot continue on our course of a false industrialized version of wisdom and material gain. We are killing our planet while trying to achieve economic power. We must strive for a healthier world, a better future, for an end to our “ignorance”, and the true achievement of human wisdom in our natural world, and we must start by saving the precious life of our planet.