The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art is proud to present the winners of the I Am Beautiful! Teen Portrait Showcase/Contest. Caleb Patterson of Duke Ellington School of the Arts won the title of grand winner. Agyei Allrich of NationHouse Homeschool Support Program won first place. Mandichera Hargrove, also of NationHouse Homeschool Support Program won second place. Alex Mendez-Santana of Duke Ellington School of the Arts won third place.
Caleb Patterson, Age 18
Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Museum Studies Department
In honor of the “I am beautiful” Portrait submission held by the Smithsonian of African Art. My name is Caleb Patterson, and I attend Duke Ellington School of the Arts as a senior in the Museum Studies Department. I present Beautiful Black Boy Joy. Beauty to me is to be still in gratitude. To find inspiration when we are at our lowest and highest. Showcasing creativity and pulling it to the surface in order to express an elusive individuality. Blended into my fashionable aesthetic, artwork and spoken word. Utilizing the gifts of touch and sight, my heart considers concepts like symbols and colors that linger about my mind. Textiles like velvet, or the fibers of nylon stimulate my hands. A sensory experience like the peaceful sensation of grasping on the rich Caribbean sands. Anything you find beautiful let it be glorified by the most high. So, you can acknowledge the divine calling to you in the mirror through the gaze of your own eyes. I see grace from above is provided when I trust my heart and take my time. I’ve cried myself a river but in tribute to my bloodline like a star I must rise. Above any obstacles of doubt that come my way. As a descendant of the motherland, I wonder if my native tongue has died. But if I stand here now then my ancestors and culture survived. I am a beautiful black boy, my joy is vibrant and alive
Agyei Allrich, Age 15
NationHouse Homeschool Support Program
I am here. In my own world different from yours. I hold my history in my hands. I hold my history in my land Haiti, America, Ghana this is me. This depicts my past, present, and future and inspired by Atlas.
Mandichera Hargrove, Age 15
NationHouse Homeschool Support Program.
Who am I? I am amicable, neutral, direct, independent and reliable. I am beautiful.
Alex Mendez-Santana, Age 16
Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Museum Studies Dept
What meets the eye I think beauty is subjective. Everyone has their own takes on things, their own style, their own view. That’s what makes things so unique, something that can really stand out and pop out because it is unusual, or it was never thought of originally. My piece shows the process of what some people go through trying to get the “perfect shot”, from the lighting all the way to the pose. The photo shows me sitting in what looks like to be in a dark room, I like to think some people just like to be alone but that doesn’t mean they are lonely. And because sometimes it’s interesting and nice to see things from a wider view.