Student artists in Immokalee now have a creative outlet to display their work for potential buyers. The Immokalee Foundation is hosting “2021 Art Showcase: Immokalee through Student Eyes” Saturday, Oct. 23 from 5 to 7 p.m. at its office, 908 Roberts Ave. W., Immokalee. The event concludes with a silent auction of all displayed works and students will receive 100% of their artwork sales.
Anyone affiliated with The Immokalee Foundation — as well as all Immokalee High School students — were invited to submit their artwork. The outdoor exhibit is open to the public and will feature digital art, poems and canvases executed in a variety of mediums, often featuring vivid colors. Artists of all ages are celebrating their culture in a breadth of subjects.
The showcase was the brainchild of artist Jonathan Martinez, a former Immokalee Foundation student who graduated from Immokalee High School and then Florida State University with an art degree. He partnered with The Immokalee Foundation to create a venue to display art in his hometown.
“Jonathan couldn’t find many spaces where he could further develop his artistic skills while growing up in Immokalee,” said Dalina Gamez, postsecondary student specialist at The Immokalee Foundation. “He wanted to celebrate and support the artistic talent within his community. The showcase will feature many students who have been creating artwork in their homes, as well as others who have taken a bold, brave step forward to exhibit their first pieces to the public.”
Martinez hopes student artists will gain confidence by showing their art. “This art exhibition is an opportunity for students in Immokalee to present their talents and gain experience in sharing their work with larger audiences,” said Martinez. “We aim to create a space for individuals to feel that their art is welcomed and appreciated for what it can contribute to the community.”
Participating students submitted a short writeup detailing their inspiration.
“I have never shared my digital artwork with a large audience,” wrote a senior at Immokalee High School. “This is an opportunity to showcase my skills with likeminded people,”
One student addressed her struggles with mental illness in a monochromatic palette of blue crayon. “This reflects my view on myself through the haze of mental illness while incorporating the colorful medium of crayons,” she wrote.
“I feel it is important for us to create a communal space that invites any form of art,” said Martinez. “Immokalee houses many cultures and experiences. It is our passion to have their voices be heard through art to educate and inspire in Immokalee.”
For more than 30 years, The Immokalee Foundation has provided a range of education programs that focus on building pathways to professional careers through support, mentoring and tutoring, and life skills development leading to economic independence. To learn more about The Immokalee Foundation, becoming a mentor, its signature events, volunteering as a career panel speaker or host, making a donation, including the foundation in your estate plans, or for additional information, call 239-430-9122 or visit immokaleefoundation.org.