On May 3rd, Louidjy Hippolite’s photorealistic drawing titled, “Food for Change” was selected as the 1st-place winner for the Feeding South Florida’s inaugural “Summer Hunger Ends Here” art competition. The announcement was made at a special event that transformed the 72,000 square-foot warehouse into a spacious gallery featuring dozens of art pieces by students from South Florida’s high schools. Inspired by the prompt, “what does summer hunger look like?” their work crossed every medium from graphic design to acrylic painting to tackle the complex subject of this critical issue.
A student of Santaluces Community High School in Lantana, Louidjy’s piece is now featured on one of Feeding South Florida’s 36-foot tractor/trailers, raising awareness about the issue throughout the food bank’s quad-county service area. “I drew this picture because it can inspire other people to share food,” says Louidjy. “I want to share the happiness and love you see when a child smiles after eating.”
“Food for Change” was selected as the winner out of 27 submissions from high school students in Palm Beachand Miami Dade Counties. Local art teachers were crucial to producing the large turnout, and Louidjy’s own teacher, William Johnson, was an
important inspiration for him. “My teacher introduced the competition to me. I would never have known about it without Mr. Johnson, but I knew it was a chance to use my artwork to do good things and help other people. A chance to use my talent for good.”
This story resembles the ones shared by other participants in the contest, like second-place winner Melissa Fernandez from New World School of the Arts and third-place winner Maria Guerriere-Maril from Boca Prep International High School. The reality of summer hunger, when students lose access to free or reduced-price meals, is well-understood by the artists who live in affected communities, and the desire to apply their talent to making a difference was a uniting theme at Feeding South Florida’s “Summer Hunger Ends Here” Gallery Night.
Many of them saw their art as a way to speak up on their community’s behalf.
Louidjy’s art will be featured at the Feeding South Florida main warehouse until August 31st, and will become the main art for the organization’s “Summer Hunger Ends Here” campaign in the coming months. It’s a big break for any artist, but when asked about the biggest challenge he faced in making his piece, Louidjy had this to say:
“The hardest part about making this picture was getting my cousin to hold still. I had to take dozens of photos because all she wanted to do was eat the apple.”
In the end, both Louidjy and his rambunctious cousin got their wish.
To view more pictures, please click here.