Art can stir up meaningful conversations in our communities more organically.
We saw the Summer 2022 Art Contest as an opportunity to encourage community connections, conversation, and creative expression about a health issue that continues to disproportionately affect the communities we serve: COVID-19.
The community art contest was organized by us, Kensington Voice, a community hub and newsroom serving Fairhill, Harrowgate, Kensington, Norris Square, and part of Port Richmond. It was sponsored by the Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) as part of PHMC’s vaccine hesitancy efforts.
In total, we received 10 contest submissions and 121 votes. The winners of each category were chosen through a public voting form. Thank you to everyone who participated in Kensington Voice’s first art contest.
Take a look at the award-winning artwork and poetry below. We will publish the winners’ submissions in our monthly print newspaper this December.
Want to suggest future art contest themes? Click here.
Noah Goldsmith won the category Ages 0-9 (Individual Submissions) with the painting, “Broad King.” Goldsmith told Kensington Voice that the artwork symbolizes that anything in life is possible.
The Wave of Good & Bad
The children at Visitation BVM Camp won the category Mixed Ages (Group Submissions) and Best-In-Show (Group Submissions) with their painting, “The Wave of Good & Bad.” Patrick Ossel, who supervised the campers, told Kensington Voice that the children saw COVID-19 as a wave of death and destruction until the vaccine came out.
Stitching the Fabric of Community After COVID
Patrick Ossel won the category Ages 18+ (Individual Submissions) and Best-In-Show (Individual Submissions) with the painting, “Stitching the Fabric of Community After COVID.” Ossel told Kensington Voice that the City of Brotherly Love is shown around the sewing machine, which is stitching together hope, COVID-19 antigens, and donated bags (made by participants in his sewing class at the Community Center at Visitation) as a way to bring the community together and give back after COVID-19.
COVID & I
Layali Lami won the category Ages 10-17 (Individual Submissions) with the poem, “COVID & I.” Lami told Kensington Voice that the man in the poem is a metaphor for COVID-19. Lami switched the point of view to make it seem like a bad relationship with a person. In reality, it’s just a poem about Lami’s life and relationship with COVID-19.
COVID & I
I remember how life used to feel, everything was easy to conceal
School was so fun yet felt like a run.
Spanish then history, it just felt like a mystery
Transcending felt so… never ending
Until around January of 2020, that’s when I heard about someone so funny
At first I didn’t think much of him, he seemed so dim
thought it would be sweet that we’d never even meet
He was 19 and made the biggest scene,
Maybe because he was so overseen
At first he seemed to be someone so innocent and simple, a little like me
Maybe that was why I had to flee
I knew he’d hit me with more and more surprises
I had to cover up, not knowing the follow up
He was like a sickness that I couldn’t control myself from catching
He had so many different sides, I got swept up in the tides
He was delta then alpha, which confused me more than a pentalpha
Maybe i don’t know what’s next, there’s too many effects
The next second it’s like omicron (15) stages of grief
He struck me, he struck us all.
Some worse than others.
But I wish he would stay in my memories, instead he’s creating treasuries
He continues to hurt more people after me. Will I ever be free?
It all started so simple and so innocent, “maybe it’ll last a week.”
Now here he is, maybe he’s stuck here forever. I just want to pull the lever
I’m praying night after night hoping he’ll become a memory, but his name is Emory
I’ll forever be grateful for the “Before” but now it’s my turn to take over the “After”
Editors: Jillian Bauer-Reese, Siani Colón, Zari Tarazona Designer: Zari Tarazona