Anne Frantzen (2023) Photograph. This plant defies the odds by growing strong and tall from a tree limb.
Asia Marie Bell (2023) Acrylics. For me, Vitality can mean a lot of different things but in this case, I wanted to focus more on the Vitality of color by incorporating different levels of turquoise and Blues, in addition to a bright goldish yellow background. I also wanted to complement, yet contrast those bright colors by placing the hair on an African American woman, as I feel that we have versatility when it comes to the color of our hair and we often try out different Hues and shades when styling it. Enjoy!
Barbara Dunn (2023) Photograph. Vitality and strength are on display at any skate park, with aerial moves throughout space that defy gravity. An energetic and fast-moving sport, it keeps your eyes on the skaters as they execute their tricks. Pictured here is one of my sons, Patrick, for whom skating is a vital part of self expression.
Denise Carreto Munoz (2023) Digital. To me, vitality means life and energy. When I picture life, I think about all the beautiful flowers that bloom during the spring. It makes you feel full of life being surrounded by all the vibrant flowers in a field. To me, the best way to obtain energy is with yoga. This allows me to be grounded with the earth and recharge by letting go.
Ellen Shwatal (2023) Mixed media abstract collage using acrylic paint, paper, recycled items. Just as the proverbial "canary in the coal mine", birds represent life. If the birds are not doing well, we will not be either. I've added the elements of music and flowers which to me are also vital in myself to make me happy.
Eric Appelquist (2023) Original concept drawing in colored pencil, scanned and finished in Rebelle 5 Pro. As I've crossed the threshold of 50 years old I've come to realize hopes and dreams are forever a part of life. Vitality isn't something just defined by youth, but in the love of life. There are always new things to explore and discover. This art tries to highlight the fact that vitality is not just something of youth but a way of life.
Heidi Appelton (2023) Photograph. What life is packed in a seed never ceases to amaze me. And through its death, it births new seed many times over. Not only that, it is a source of nourishment for other creatures while it has life. John 12:24
Joan Ladendorf (2023) Digital photo collage composed from parts of textile textures and different photos I have taken, assembled in Photoshop and enhanced with dimensional techniques. I enjoy creating work that lies somewhere between realism and abstraction, and these flowers reside there.
Joe Weibler (2023) Photograph. The light and the weather conditions change quickly, especially in the fall, but being out early in the morning and enjoying the scenery and the show is always a bit awe-inspiring. The air is crisp and fresh. And these scenes do not last long, so I enjoy them while they are happening!
Lesley Gena (2023) Oil pastels. I work at People’s Resource Center, a non-profit organization that works to provide basic human needs and create a future of hope and opportunity to residents of DuPage County. PRC currently operates a food market at Leman Middle School in partnership with District 33 and WeGo Together for Kids. For this contest, I was inspired to make artwork using photos that I took inside our food market because food is essential to providing energy and vitality. Additionally, our market at Leman is one way that I am connected to the city of West Chicago. I was particularly drawn to the bins of produce and the words of welcome written on the chalkboard.
Maggie Capettini (2023) Oil paints, oil pigment sticks. When thinking of vitality, I think of energy and light. When thinking of energy within ourselves, I think of the concepts and colors related to the Chakras. Light is also related to vitality. The background areas were painted transparently to bring a light feeling, and the energetic lines were done with oil pigment sticks using large arm movements (lots of kinetic energy in the making!).
Marita Blanken (2023) Photograph. I felt blessed when capturing this busy bee on a stem while at the Morton Arboretum. Bees are so vital to our world. While plants grow in soil with the help of water and sunshine, these little critters add their vitality as pollinators to help plants reproduce, providing the food we need to stay healthy and alive. A small, yet important symbol of vitality.
Melissa Arostegui (2023) My work focuses on strong girls and women. As an adult, I have encountered times that I was told I couldn't do something based on my gender. As I share my stories I have found other women with similar stories. This inspired me to paint these images with a message that gender holds no limitations. This image is of my niece who embraces strength and the power to be herself regardless of gender.
Mercedes Calcano (2023) Acrylic on canvas. The piece origin was a reflection on a music score. I was thinking of the many voices, stories, longings and dreams that come together in a piece of music and how it mirrors life. I have a background in classical music, so for me listening to or unveiling hidden voices, pieces of "harmonies" or "sequences" that are not in the foreground, is very important in my work of art (unveiling invisible gifts, mysteries of life, potential) be it performance, composition, creative writing or fine arts. This painting name became:Lives in Color--Connection. It explores how our shared humanity, and our differences, come together to enrich existence; how the sum of parts is always more, how when each of them is embraced, the places where they touch/connect/intersect, create new colors/experiences/hues. The wonder of life and the many ways it expresses.
Rosemary Mackey (2023) Retirement from a successful career in government communications rewarded me with time to pursue another creative passion and to contribute to the vitality of my new community. I became a literacy volunteer, empowering non-English speaking individuals to realize their full potential and live better, more productive lives. The transformative impact of literacy for these adult learners is represented in my artwork of the monarch butterfly, combining elements that convey the vitality both bring to a community.
Sheila Newenham (2023) Photograph. Theodore Roosevelt National Park, ND: Bison rut usually ends in September. But, it’s mid-October and this huge guy is clearly tending a cow in estrus. He follows her with his nose and won’t leave her side, wallows in the dust and rubs his head and horns into the ground. I watched this couple at the outskirts of a herd lazily grazing their way across a prairie dog town. They were moving somewhat in my direction and certainly still more than the requisite 25 yards away when he stopped and stared. It’s best to be ignored by wildlife. That’s a sure sign that they are okay with my presence. The stare is unnerving. Bison in rut are out of their minds and these lumbering, awkward giants can run 35 mph. I cannot. I moved back to the road and the safety of my car and the bison went back to his wooing.
Sienna Sherrier (2023) Colored pencils and chalk. Sienna is 9 years old, and in 4th grade. She is extremely creative and loves drawing. Sienna has been drawing beautiful, detailed flowers since she was 6 years old. These flowers are bold, yet sweet and whimsical just like Sienna! In Sienna's words: "I chose to draw the flowers because I love the beautiful, bright colors that start popping up in spring. It looks like an explosion of color!"