The Immokalee Foundation will host “2021 Art Showcase: Immokalee through Student Eyes,” an exhibit showcasing the talents of local student artists, on Saturday, October 23, from 5 to 7 p.m. at its office (908 Roberts Ave. W.). The event will conclude with a silent auction of all displayed works. Students will receive 100 percent of their artwork sales.
The outdoor exhibit is open to the public and will feature digital art, poems, and canvases executed in a variety of mediums. Student 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, then from 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 short passages detailing the inspirations behind their works, from struggles with mental health to realizing their senses of self through art.
“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.”