Renée Szostek | Alumni

Despite My Past
My inspiration for my visual art was the poem “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou. I especially appreciated the line “Up from a past that’s rooted in pain / I rise,” and thought that I would include a painting of a flower. I chose a painting which I had painted in the Chinese style of a chrysanthemum. When people think of race relations, they usually think about how Black and White people treat one another. Other races do exist, however. I chose the chrysanthemum because it symbolizes tenacity and hard work. The chrysanthemum blooms in the autumn, which can be cold and damp, and is a time when many other plants are dying. I scanned in my painting of a chrysanthemum, and printed it in a size small enough to include in a collage. I wrote the lines from the poem in a calligraphic font by hand with a pen.