Artist: Isabelle Santos
From: Rochester, NY
Details: Watercolor and gouache, 9"x12"
Artist Statement: One summer a few years ago, I volunteered at a summer program for the Rochester city school that my mom teaches at. I did art with the kids, and it is probably one of my most cherished memories. The next year, I asked my mom about the program, only to learn that it had fallen victim to a massive budget cut. Immediately vague concepts like budgets, state, and federal funding became personal and very real. Seeing firsthand how children blossom with care, time, and attention made me angry that not all children in our city were receiving what they need to thrive.
“Protea” is a flower that symbolizes change and hope for locals, and it is named for the Greek god Proteus, who can transfigure himself at will. Education transforms minds, preparing them for the future, and filling them with potential and hope.