The work of Hannah Richter and Omar Wiseman seems to ask all of us to pause, for just a moment, and appreciate the world around us. These artists want to touch others with their work and for people to walk away with the memory of their drawings and words saved for another day. They use twists of phrases and shifting lines to turn the simple pleasures of life into something much more poignant.
Hannah Richter is from Miami, FL, and attends Miami Palmetto Senior High School.
“Within my work, I strive to become an architect of worlds; encompassing all the intricacies and wild capriciousness of the human mind. I write in the hopes that a lone reader may one day stumble across a passage of mine, hold my words in the palms of their hands and perhaps tuck a single phrase into their pocket to save for later. It is in this fashion that I believe in cheating death; through syllables handed from person to person, through old stacks of paper in some long-forgotten place. Mostly though, I just write to touch the lives of others.”
“Regarding the Night”
The night props herself up
On one elbow
And says simply
And the night listens
She hears the prayers
Spilling forth from every window
To every god
In every tongue
Because desperation and loneliness
Have no singular language
She collects these fragile
In her breast pocket
The murmur of their many verses
In some distant corner
And it is in this breath of solace
This taciturn hour
When the night
Sends her response
To those who
For a lost soul
And an empty affection
She nudges her words under
The anemic sheets
But those who are
The most desperate
And her replies are
A ballad of crickets
Cicada wings on glass
Or a hoax of a nostalgic mind
With a shake of her head
She rocks her children back to sleep
So they may
In a dream
You have come into a small fortune of falling stars.
They were caught by the branches of the willow tree
Overhanging your bedroom window.
They are still warm in your palms as you
Pluck them off like apples.
They are quite lovely so
You sell them all to pay for college.
On their second date
He took her to see the Pacific Ocean.
Her landlocked heart blew centuries of dust off
Old atlases, risking everything to find
The coast. Together, that cloudless morning,
They redrew every map
Using the crude oil congealing
On the incoming tide.
On the edge of the road
There is a hibiscus plant unfurling
Between the cracks in the blistered sidewalk
A poem is written on each petal
And verses begin to litter the pavement
Lining the whole street with little truths
No one stops to read awhile.
Omar Wiseman is from Lake Balboa, CA, and attends L.A. County High School for the Arts.
“During my creative process, I take the simple life qualities that I enjoy so much, and embellish them by bringing their most pleasing qualities to the forefront. By using the aesthetic qualities that I see fit, the viewer is invited to re-appropriate what is generally seen as “mundane” and gain a better understanding and appreciation for it . . . Coming away from my work, I want one to fully recognize the complexities hidden within the little moments that life has to offer, and hopefully by appreciating my art, one can apply these concepts to their own life in order to appreciate life a little bit more.”
To view Hannah and Omar’s entire Gold Medal Portfolios, and to see the work from all of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards’ 2015 National Medalists, visit artandwriting.org/galleries.