My piece represents what goes on in my head everyday/ what comes out of my mouth, to give more of an explanation I basically used this art as a way to put things into perspective of what i hear or argue with myself about. My influences were from myself, i used this project as a way to let everything in my mind just flow. I had an idea about what i wanted to do then it just slowly turned into me venting on a canvas. To be completely honest the main focus for my piece was to make a random face and attach different branches of mental illnesses to it somehow but i ended up just making it about myself haha. I made the choice to draw my headspace because there were a lot of things that stuck with me growing up and I kind of just wanted to escape from it if that makes sense. This demonstrates transformation because it took a lot for me to actually communicate how I’ve been feeling and yet I cooked up some courage to express my inner pain with art.
For my final project, I decided to make a very scuffed cinematic of my life and how my mental health went from an all time low to the highest it could have been during quarantine in 2020 due to the support of a chosen family. They were the main influence for me to make this video because of the major impacts they made to me and my character.
In this video, I used clips of me being miserable and having a rather boring spring break which represents the decline and decrease of my mental health. I had a song also quietly playing in the background of all the clips of “March 2020” called “Ruu’s Song” which is one of my favorite songs from the RPG game Genshin Impact. The song plays when our character, Ruu departs with his long term friend and only wishes to see each other in another life. The song brings sadness and sorrow with the concept of departing with friends and living a life without them. So, I thought the combination of the miserable and solemn vibes of the beginning months of quarantine and the comforting yet tear jerking song would be able to convey the proper tone to that first half of the video. The departure from reality all because of a pandemic.
The video then transitions to September of 2020 where it shows the slow climb of my mental health getting better due to my chosen family who came to me first. In the background of this segment, there is a song called “Final Duet” from the game Omori. This song plays when our main character comes to terms with the loss of his sister and realizes that those around him have always been there even without his sister there. That song brings me so much comfort because it reminds me of all the people I have in my life and who have been there by my side no matter how tough the struggle was. Adding this song behind the clips and photos of me with my friends was the perfect touch to show the transformation from my miserable misery to my bright gleam of happiness.
The show of my chosen family shows wellness to me because these are the people who given me comfort. These are the people who were there when others in my life couldn’t be. They provided the space for me to be me and grow and go past those struggles I have been going through. They showed me what love can feel like from a familial lens since being in an asian household, affection like that is very rare and almost uncomfortable. So, being able to feel something even remotely close is enough to make me feel like I’m doing something right.
What does this piece represent?
This piece represents how important it is to have knowledge whether part of a political movement, social movement, and/or cultural movement. Knowledge is one of the elements of hip hop and it is immensely powerful. The second part of the art piece demonstrates how knowledge and the fight for change in general is paramount in being the change we wish to see. The audio being overlapped shows what wellness is to me and all of these elements in my project can bring about transformation. Knowledge transforms because everytime you learn something new you are changed for the better.
Who were your influences?
My influences were Marlene and Assetou. I used the poem I wrote during Assetou’s poetry workshop in my project. Marlene influenced me because she had so many audios that were a part of her life and I wanted to do an audio piece as well.
Why did you make the choices you did in depicting this topic? I made the choices I did when using specific colors when doing the graffiti so that it would stand out and get in someone’s face because I want people to know how important knowledge is. I also wanted multiple audios overlapping each other so that there would be calming sounds to captivate the wellness part of the project.
How does this demonstrate wellness, transformation and/or regeneration? This demonstrates wellness because having knowledge of self and knowledge of what you want to see changed in the world can tie into transformation and regeneration. This ties into wellness because when you make changes in your life for the better you get an overwhelming sense of satisfaction and are put at ease. This is knowledge and fighting for what you believe in once you’ve achieved it.
This artwork represents transformation and growth because it symbolizes growing into womanhood which is a big part of my identity. It also represents wellness because music and pretty colors are some of the things that helped me feel better when i was low. My best friend sophia helped me when I got stuck because I was really struggling with how to start my project and she told me to think about what brings me the most peace and music, for me, is one of those things. It helps me feel better when I’m down it also helps me maintain a joyful mood by keeping the vibe going. I chose to put a rainbow as the background color because looking at bright colors makes me feel better. I chose to put a tree that was shaped like a lady at the bottom because this would represent me growing up and becoming more mature. This demonstrates wellness and transformation because the song lyrics that I put are from beyonces song, Blue, she had wrote this song for Blue Ivy which is her daughter. I chose these lyrics because it represents the up and down relationship I had with my mom when I was younger and I feel like the struggles that I went through with her brough us closer together. My artwork represents transformation because it is a tree that is growing into a women and this shows me growing up from younger me to now. It also represents the struggles that I went through and the growth Ive made throughout this process.
‘BIPOC teachers for BIPOC students’
My piece represents the fight North students had last week when they (including myself) felt like their wellness space was being removed. My influences were all my classmates. I was so inspired by their photographs, signs and passion. I had a hard time coming up with an idea for my project but after all the protests, I saw how artistic they were, it was actually very inspiring. I decided I wanted to incorporate parts of Hernandez’s classroom as well as parts of the march and sit-in. The classroom had elements that made me very happy like the sarape print in the back or the community fridge , and the inLakesh poem which we read everyday, a poem that represents the love and community we promised each other in his class. I also placed an example of a sign of a student I saw, the bull horn including the chant I heard at the walkout and a power fist. This demonstrates a wellness space and the transformations us students had that led us to protest for a cause we believe in, to hold on to our BIPOC teachers starting with Mr Tim Hernandez.
My final project is about sounds in music that makes me feel wellness, i recreated these sounds myself and took all of them and turned them into a song. I don’t listen to hiphop, but that doesn’t mean i hate it, it is just something people like to listen to for their own reasons. My music has sounds that tell my emotions and sound like, for example the loudness and amount of energy that comes from the chords. The first thing you hear is a build up sound, it is supposed to show the sudden feeling of happiness filling you up then immediately the piano chords play, i wanted the chords to sound what happiness sounds like and i made the chords fuel the happiness more and more listening to them make me feel like its a cool sunny day on the edge of a shore on a beach. Or fast paced, upbeat, or perfect for a run. The rush feeling would come from the beat the snare would play everytime you step, each step becoming more powerful and then the breaks feel like that moment when you finally rest after something exhausting and right at the end the music ends with all of the combined sounds fading away with vast amounts of reverb , it is not supposed to be sad, it’s supposed to feel like relaxation after a sunny, hot and warm day.
Cortayvis “Tay” Kouanda-Norris
What does this piece represent?
This piece represents how my brain spits out that crazy flow, and unheard of lyrics. This also shows how knowledge can be put into anything including rapping.
Who were your influences?
The influence to this project was Lil Baby and he had a song called the bigger picture. I named mine the little picture because I wanted to point out how there’s more than one race that gets discriminated against.
Why did you make the choices you did in depicting this topic?
I used whatever flowed in my brain at that certain moment and what came out was a masterpiece.
How does this demonstrate wellness, transformation and/or regeneration?
This demonstrates wellness and shows how there are many people who believe in equality still. You are not alone in this crazy world.
As a Black woman in America, well this world, we learn early about the different methods of survival & “making it” in life. Wellness is often overlooked, which is why I dedicate a lot of my time to wellness methods and tips on relaxing in life. Wellness is being transformed into anything that brings people happiness and peace. The regenration of wellness has allowed for everyone to feel like they deserve to have less stress, and to motivate then to actually care about their wellness in life. Life is truly only as stressful as you allow it, so why allow life to give you a stroke, when you could allow life to bless you with its mysterious beauty! This is an art piece that allows for audience members to relate to the chaos of life, but enjoy the natural balances that come with the stress. I think the message is better expressed through art forms like this, as people can really feel the piece. Wellness is apart of our health, and we can’t begin to help others, if you can’t even help your own wellness state!
This piece represents my home where the anchor and red dot is and the X where i am from and all my family and Mexico is along with my culture. The anchor on my home in Colorado represents how I am not able to leave to go visit my family in Mexico because of the current state of where I am from. This in turn has affected me a lot because of missing celebrations and big moments in my family’s life. I also feel alone and sort of lost from my culture because i dont have my family here with me. I believe that many immigrants feel that way about their family and culture and I have seen first hand how culture and language is being lost in the generations that are born here but I also see a new thriving community as well. My influence was all immigrants that feel this way. This represents how wellness in my life is my family and culture and I as someone from Zacatecas feel the need to try and reconnect with my roots and hold onto my culture for future generations because of that I feel it is showing regeneration because I am trying to keep my culture alive as many other people. One song that i resonate with alot and helps explain my feelings is “corrido de juanito” by calibre 50 where they sing a song in the perspective of a father from mexico and one verse that has stuck with me is
“Trabajé y trabajé, tengo muchos días
Que no miro el sol
Mis hijos son grandes y no les entiendo
No hablan español”
This verse talks about how he works alot and how his kids don’t understand him because they don’t speak spanish which i believe is very relevant to many people and this song represents how many immigrants feel as well. I do think that my culture is still present in our communities and has seemed to thrive finding new ways to transform and express themselves creating new music and styles in our communities and i will continue to connect and grow with my community to empower us.
The translation for the verse:
“I worked and worked, I have many days
I don’t look at the sun
My children are big and I don’t understand them
They do not speak Spanish”
What does this piece represent? My piece represents my family culture from both my dad and my mom.
Who were your influences? My influences were my uncle, my mom, my dad, and my grandparents.
Why did you make the choices you did in depicting this topic? I made these choices because they helped me represent my family and our background.
How does this demonstrate wellness, transformation and/or regeneration? This demonstrates wellness because all the drawings remind me of my family. For example, the food reminds me of my Mexican heritage and the impala and street sign reminds me of my family and culture here in Denver.
This piece of art I made here represents a little bit of everything in my life, mainly some personal stuff. The cross on there is the tattoo I got with my dad’s name in it. I colored it blue (also the i) because that was his favorite color. I had also put the lowrider logo under the last name. I had put these on my poster because I feel like it represents Transformation and Regeneration because the car shows, were something my dad loved doing so very much. We would be there every weekend. It would bring us together as a family and allow us to spend time together. Now that my dad is gone we don’t to do that anymore, and I really wish I would be able to cherish those moment with him one more time. I put 38th and Federal up there because it is where we have lived every since my grandparent moved here from mexico. I put the skyline of denver at the top because it is where I was born and raised. Then last but not least I put my last name in bubble letter because even though it is a commonly last name, if you were to ask most people about Padilla, they would respond with bringing me up.
I wanted to add the song “Sweet Love” By Anita Baker as it was my grandma’s favorite song, but I couldn’t figure out how to. To me, this piece represents family and culture, and my influences were of course my mother and grandfather. This is his mom’s mom’s mom’s mom’s recipe so I decided to bring a piece of me to share with everyone else. I chose to depict the topic this way and bake it instead of acting, singing, or dancing it because I’m a firm believer that dance or rhythm isn’t the only way to express yourself, love, or hip hop. Not everyone is artistic or creative in that way. I’ve always been a “by the book” kind of person, and as a result, forcing myself to make something vocally or dance wise would be inauthentic to me and the person I am. To me, this demonstrates wellness in the culture of it. As I said previously, to some it’s just a dish, but to me and my family it’s one of the best things to come home to. It is love, and a reminder that tomorrow will be a better day. It represents transformation and regeneration because it’s been passed down from generation to generation, and each time it’s tweaked to be slightly better than the last.
‘Family is Family’
Family is not just blood related, because the memories we make are never faded. In sickness or in health or in poverty or wealth family is family no matter what cards we are dealt.
This piece represents my mental health and wellness. The reason I say this represents my mental health and wellness is because these are the people in my chosen family that have constantly been by my side since day one. Not everyone has a good idea of a chosen family but from my perspective my chosen family is the people who may not be blood related but have been there to support me and guide me. What influenced me to do this piece was the seniors presenting their finals, this was because it made me realize how much each of our lives are so different and unique. Thinking of my family makes me appreciate my wellness and mental health because whenever I may be in a down mood I always have great memories to go and look back on. And good people to be there to support me. I also feel like mental health and wellness should be expressed a lot more in highschool because it is such a stressful time to deal with as a young adult. We are being forced to learn how to do things independently and it is extremely important to have a stable support system by your side while doing it. Overall whatever chosen family or family you have by your side it is always comforting to have them to lean back on whenever you may need it.
This short playlist represents myself when I am just feeling a moment of relaxation with a little bit of hype. This playlist is mostly instrumentals but it is great when it is just a chill doing nothing really. It’s a vibe of progress for mind thinking or something to get comfortable with. Instrumental music is mostly background music or sound when you are either busy doing something or bored. It might even help with a focused mindset.
My artist piece represents my uncle who has passed away for a while now. My cousin is my influence because he always wants me to succeed and do my best in life. This art was inspired by our family not being really close but my uncle keeps us together. This piece demonstrates transformation as it helps me understand and get an exception from our family gathering and expanding. People ask me questions about My Uncle and sometimes I don’t want to answer them but it is best to give a little knowledge about why he is so important and is the holding tension with our family’s still having something to live for.
The first song is about a guy singing about a women he is in love with and is their memories together. The 2nd song is about juice wrld singing whatever is on his mind and what he be doing with his life. 3rd song is about the artist got his heart broken and he’s moving on 4th song the artist is singing about his love for this women and that he’s always there for her.
5th The artist is singing about his life and that he’s enjoying it the way it is.
6th The artist is talking about his relationship life and that it was good and he loved this women.
Music is my influence because it always helped my soul cope with a lot of things that has happened in my life and music healed a lot of mental health that were hard to heal it represents for my heart and soul.
What does this piece represent? This piece represents the overwhelming thoughts and emotions throughout my life.
Who were your influences? My influences were my parents and my sisters.
Why did you make the choices you did in depicting this topic? I wanted to emphasize my emotions and feelings regarding certain topics.
How does this demonstrate wellness, transformation and/or regeneration? This demonstrates we because some of those pieces of writing were from a long time ago which i do not feel the same way anymore. Also I have empowering pieces that keep me going when things are hard.
This piece represents the overwhelming thoughts and emotions throughout my life. My influences were my parents and my sisters.I wanted to emphasize my emotions and feelings regarding certain topics.This demonstrates we because some of those pieces of writing were from a long time ago which i do not feel the same way anymore. Also I have empowering pieces that keep me going when things are hard.
Its a little blurry
Who am I?
I’m a Female
I’m a Sister
I’m an auntie
I’m a Human
Who am I?
I am a person who loves music
I am a person who enjoys cold coffee
I am a person who loves blankets and stuffed animals
I am a person who enjoys being alone
Who was I?
I was a person who enjoyed others’ company
I was a person who loved being around my family
I was a person who loved themselves
I was a little girl who was blinded by a fantasy.
I don’t know…
I don’t know my sexual oreintation
I don’t know why people ask me about my identity so much
I don’t know who I am when I’m not alone
I don’t know who actually cares for me.
Did you know?
Did you know that I’m in love
Did you know that I lost my dad?
Did you know that I have trouble expressing myself
Did you know that I don’t know how to set boundaries
I’m getting older…
I’m getting older because i see the ugly in the world
I’m getting older because i understand what my mother used to tell me
I’m getting older because i am healing from my past
I’m getting older because I am telling my story without regret
I need my mother
I need validation
I want my father back
I need comfort
Who am i?
I am a woman who was never taught about self love
I am a kid who has to much pressure on them
I am a kid who is having a identity crisis
I am a girl who doesn’t know if she is good enough
I am a person who wants to fit in
I am a person who struggles with anxiety
I am a girl who doesn’t remember her childhood
I am a person who is disconnected with her culture
I am a girl whos family thinks she’s different
I am a daughter whose mother is proud of her academics
I am Maya Sifuentes
This piece represents me. The past, prresnt and future basically. I have been connected with myself more than I have every and am rying to understand who I want to be. My past self is someone who I am not proud of. I also incluse questions about myself as statements because I dont think there are answers for them. It is very personal to me because these are statements that I will never tell anyone vocally.
Who were your influences?
MY influences were Billie eilish and Lorna Dee Cervantes. Both are very good at writing about their feelings. They are not shy to show their disconnection with themselves. Cervantes is a latinx poet and in many of her poems she shows growth with herself. Billie writes about uncomfortable topics and that makes me feel heard and understood.
Why did you make the choices you did in depicting this topic? I made a poem with repition of a question. I did this because I am the only one who can answer the question but it can cause others to think about themselves as well.
How does this demonstrate wellness, transformation and/or regeneration?This poem represents wellness and and transformation because it feels like editing to my knowns and because of this it can help me grow to be a better version of myself. Its like my way of letting go. Also it can be a format that can help others who want to dig deeper within themselves. It all about interpretation.
Almost 2 years ago
I couldn’t imagine life going on
I was stuck in the middle of nothing
I wasn’t content, but angry or unhappy couldn’t describe it either
Almost 2 years ago I felt masked
Like my smiles weren’t genuine
I didn’t know what truly mattered for me
Almost 2 years ago
You began to show me about the smaller things in life
Showing me how important those insignificant moments really were
At the start of every day, you’d turn the tv on
And begin to play songs from random playlists you found
Didn’t matter if you were cooking
Those sounds for the soul were there
It didn’t matter if it was Sevin
Or one of your favorites
Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder) by Maxwell
The one you dedicated to us
Often times I see how you feel overlooked
I see how it hurts when those closest to you look down on you
How everyone acts like all you have to offer is disappointment
And for a moment, I could only see through that perspective
But I couldn’t be more grateful that I finally got to know you
I’ll never forget those days we would stay up late dancing in the kitchen
Or baking some random recipe we found online
Or the days where Sonya and I would sit on the bed watching you get ready
You looked so happy finally having time to put yourself together
Or creating new meals without worrying about the time it would take
Because you knew I would be there to help
Seeing that kind joy could bring me to tears
Not because it was overwhelming and over exciting
No, it was a simple, everyday kind of feeling you expressed
But it wasn’t an everyday thing for you
Your heart is so fragile
As if guarded with a thin piece of glass
Ready to shatter at the slightest pressure
But that joy, the love and value in your quality time
It made me love being with you more than anything in that moment
You knew how much I loved the rain
So you’d leave a window open in the night just so I could hear it
You knew what songs I sang and danced along to
So you knew which playlists to rely on
You knew that I wasn’t a morning person
Yet you’d come in just moments after I would wake up, ready with ideas for breakfast
For the first time in so many years
I felt that I had seen you in a way no one else could
Your happiness was my happiness
Your peace was my peace
Finally, I had felt what I longed for with you
The throwback songs you never failed to play
The way you enjoy movies
How you love being present with us because you felt alone for so long
Any element from being with you will forever remind me of you
I was doing online school
And yet I felt I learned more just by being with you than any textbook or slideshow could teach me
Now, I’ll forever love the little, seemingly unnoticed things about those important to me
Because those microscopic details
Are the ones that I find I learn the most from
And the parts of people I enjoy the most
And you’re the one to thank.
I decided to create a writing based on someone who taught me wellness, and the value in those little moments, and how just spending quality time with those who mean a lot to you are forms of wellness that can contribute directly to you. It’s like another form of self care. Not only that, but I find peace in seeing those around me understand their own enjoyment and wellness in life, no matter how big or small.
This piece represents the pain my indigenous ancestors and fellow young women face. I wanted to show that not only are we strong and courageous and above that gorgeous, but that we will always suffer the pain within our people. My influences were my face; a self portrait. I also incorporated the MMIW hand print, as well as the chicano power fist displaying both sides of my life.I made this piece just because of the times we are living in. It’s sad that we’re still facing the same hate we received years ago. In the streets, in stores, and even in our own schools. I would like to say that this image depicts regeneration. I hope someday we don’t have to face hardship and learn through the new years.
Intro: Look at you, so far from, where you used to be, I couldn’t be more proud, you keep on rising. Oh my love, you have so much coming.
To get straight to the point, this piece perfectly represents me as a whole. There is so much of me in this song and this is the most personal and vulnerable song that I have written so far. I chose to only share a small portion of my creation because it is so personal and more of a love letter to myself. I went into the creation of this song with a vision. My plan was to write the whole song talking to my past self, where I used to be, but then to slowly start speaking to my current self and situation and to my future self. This song represents a clear window into the recognition I am giving my current self for how far that I have come, even after all of the B.S that I have put up with and had to get through all by myself, no one else there for me except for me. This song also represents the parts of me that feel for my past self and that wish I could have told her to be strong enough to refuse to get walked all over again and again and to continue to get taken advantage of and used for the benefit and selfishness of others. This song has a part of me, a part of my soul and a part of my heart. Through this song I was able to express the heartbreak that I feel but also the excitement that I feel, because I know where I am going. I also know that with everything that I have gone through in my life I was able to fight my way out of that all by myself. Everything that I have gone through was for a reason, to help me grow and the fact that I am able to recognize that is only the first step in my journey of growth. This song also represents how far I know that I am going to go, how before I was uncertain and not sure of myself but now I have never been more sure, more positive of the person I am already starting to become.
I have so many different influences. I have so much influence in the music that I listen to, which is alot. I enjoy music so much, and I listen to so much of it. So many different songs, albums, EPs and artists that I have taken inspiration from and looked up to. But they’re all so different, so so different. That is the beauty in creating something new, something original. It is and will always be one of a kind and it will always have a part of you. So much creativity, uniqueness and love (sometimes the opposite of love) goes into every project and song ever created. I respect that so much. So so so much. I have too many to name but any and every artist that I continue to go back to and listen to has some sort of impact on me because their music was memorable and just had that spark, had something to it that got me hooked time and time again. I want people to listen to my music and want to keep coming back. I want my words to have an impact on them in a way that they can either relate or that they can understand the pain and passion in my voice. I want every part of my music and my songs to keep them crawling back. I am and will continue to work until I am that for so so so many other people.
I have always craved and seeked out different ways of self expression. Nothing has been able to top the closure that I get through writing and singing. It is the only way that I am able to effectively release the emotions that I am feeling whether they be negative or positive. Like dancing, which is also one of my favorite things on the planet, it makes me feel so incredibly good. In more than one way. Not only am I free to create absolutely anything that comes to mind and anything that I could possibly imagine but it grants me a sense of relief and brings me an immense amount of joy. It gives me purpose to live. Singing. Writing. Poetry. Music. Combining all of these things is my purpose and it’s something that I know I will be doing for the rest of my life. Which is why this final is the biggest part of me that I have ever shared with people that aren’t either myself or people that I trust more than anyone else. But sharing this was an essential and necessary step to progress on my journey.
My path of evolution— to tell a story of where I was, where I am now and where I am going to go. How much I’ve grown, self awareness, the beauty in that. The beauty in finding my own path
Being okay with uncertainty — not always having stucture
The battle with myself. Wanting to explore my own path, one that many are too afraid to follow. One thing that does make me differ, that that was never me. I never let fear or any other negative factor act as a detor to the path I was walking. A path that not too many people follow. One that I have to figure out on my own because no one else was brave enough to go that way. The thing that lets me differ is that I’ve always had a vision. Even through the failure, the pain, the misery. Through it all I promised myself that I would never let that vision blur.
The division I created between who I wanted to be and who I was. The way that I saw myself, the way that I presented myself to others. My mentalhealth, and the love that I thought I deserved. Why did I think I deserved that? How did I let myself put up with so much mistreatment?
This project was about me finding inspiration through music and people that inspire me. I chose two people to use for this project, one of those people is 2pac a known rapper that has changed the way some people think through his words and music and the other is my grandpa which is someone who loves to sing and plays instruments as a hobby these are both people I look up to and are both featured in this audio. I tried to think of people that may inspire me and went through some old voicemails and videos and found this video of my grandpa singing and playing guitar and thought that maybe it was something I should use. The instrumental in the audio is from a song called ¨Everybody loves the sunshine¨ by Roy Ayers Ubiquity. I think overall this shows how music changes overtime and how music changes people and it also relates a little bit to the evolution of hip hop.
My piece is supposed to show me in a comfort bubble, the comfort bubble I lived in in Germany all my life long. When I came to the US, this bubble popped, or better, I became aware of my bubble.
I didn’t know any people here, I didn’t know if I would get along well with my host mom, and I didn’t know if I would be able to understand the people here. I was on my own and in order to make friends and get to know new people I had to leave my comfort zone a lot.
But my experience here also raised my awareness of issues and conflicts that the US has to contend with far more than Germany. Like racism, discrimination, school shootings,…
I got influenced by Ms. Carino, who suggested me to do something about my growth during my exchange year, and by one of our guest speakers, who talked to me about my project and pushed my thinking regarding to what extend racism and discrimination are might actually present in Germany and just not as noticeable.
I can confidently say that my growth here was huge and that all my learning, my development and my personal growth this year I achieved on my own. And it makes me proud and I love to share that growth with other people.