Awareness Week Art and Writing Competition

APC hosts art, writing competition for Awareness Week

As part of the Advanced Peer Counseling’s 2021 Awareness Week, Oak Park High School students were invited to participate in an art and writing competition that ended on Jan. 22.

Awareness Week is an annual one-week event where students participate in many activities and listen to speakers related to a chosen theme. This year, the theme was Unity. The contest was organized by Oak Park High School’s Advanced Peer Counseling program and counselors Julie Ross and Janet Svoboda. 

Students were encouraged to submit their best artwork or writing to [email protected] by Friday, Jan. 22. Art submissions could be created using any medium and written works were not limited to any particular style.

According to Svoboda, submissions were intended to reflect the theme of unity.

“I believe that art in all forms has the power to unite us. Art evokes feelings, thoughts, questions, and emotions and provides a way for people to connect,” Svoboda wrote to the Talon. 

The winners, junior Megan Satorius, sophomore Derica Chiu, junior Srihitha Gattem and freshman Lindsay Chijate Solis, were announced on the school-wide ASB announcements and on the school bulletin board on Friday, Jan. 29. 

According to Chiu, her piece was intended to fit the prompt of “unity.” She created an image of two hands connected with a red string, with people on either side split of the hands, some wearing masks while others were not.

“It’s famously known that red thread is related to the idea of connection, strength, and luck. So the red string can indicate that even though we are in this difficult situation we are still united as a whole community. It’s essentially saying that with or without a pandemic we still have a sense of togetherness,” Chiu wrote to the Talon.

Chiu learned of her victory before seeing the announcements herself, and was “shocked and confused,” to find out about it.

“I hadn’t watched the announcements yet and my friends had already started to text me congratulations. But knowing that I got recognition for my artwork was pretty cool,” Chiu wrote.

According to Ross, the competition was an important facet of Awareness Week as art itself is a unifying factor.

“Art is a universal language that everyone can understand and it evokes feelings,” Ross wrote to the Talon.