Lizzie Duke, Reporter
Student Lori Brock had four paintings published in this year’s issue of the Student Literary Arts Magazine and was one of the two people to receive the Best In Art award of $100, usually given to one person per issue.
Jeunesse, her first painting in the SLAM (page 84), is a self-portrait based off a photo taken in her youth. Brock, who’s been painting since she was able to hold a paintbrush, decided to create a piece of herself at a younger age when assigned to create a self-portrait in an art class.
Her next piece is Afghan Innocence (page 85). The painting is based off a photograph taken by an American editorial photographer Steve McCurry, who gave Brock permission to use the photograph as inspiration for free. All McCurry wanted was credit for the original photograph.
“When I called it Afghan Innocence, it’s a question about ‘where is the innocence that the children have?’ In a war torn country, there isn’t any,” Brock said. “It’s a statement against war, I guess – and terrorism.”
Brock said she has lots of empathy when she sees faces like the one of the girl in McCurry’s photo.
“I hurt for those people, the little children who never get to have a childhood because of the horror all around them,” Brock said. “I’ve lost a child, so I know what it’s (like) to experience tremendous sadness. So in my paintings, I feel like it honors those people who are hurting when I try to tell just a bit of their story by painting their picture. I wish I could make a difference in people’s lives with my art, maybe help someone to be a little kinder, more understanding of others and perhaps help some to see the beauty of what God has made, which, to me, is a representation of the beauty of God Himself.”
The next painting of Brock’s in SLAM is A Message From Vincent, a portrait of Vincent Van Gogh (page 88). This painting was a tribute to the artist, incorporating pieces of his work such as the bird on his knee into the portrait.
“I was struck by how sad he was all the time,” Brock said. “I didn’t want him to be too happy because he was so sad all the time, but he does have a little bit of a smile in his eyes, as if he’s saying to the world, ‘hey it’s OK.’”
Uncommon Affection, her next painting, is on page 89. This painting is of a statue of a woman reaching out to a brightly colored bird and won the President’s’ award. Brock received $300 for this painting, which now hangs in the Gaspard Administration Building.
Brock wants to encourage people to take art classes, as well as thank her professors and the Dean for offering the classes she’s asked for.
“I asked Dr. Ken Owen if we could have the watercolors class, and they actually offered it,” Brock said. “Then, the next quarter, I asked about having a more advanced painting class, and they offered that this quarter. Can you believe it? I was so happy when they offered the watercolors, but I didn’t even think that they’d consider the advanced painting. Yet, here I am in it.”
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