The American Vision and American Voices Nominees are chosen as the “The Best of Show” from all the artwork and writing entered in this year’s West Central Michigan Regional competition. Each regional program across the country selects the five most outstanding works of art and the five most outstanding works of writing from their Gold Key recipients. One of these five young artists and one of these five young writers will be selected for recognition at the national level.
"Essential" Mixed Media Saginaw Arts & Sciences Academy Sally Girouz Received Gold Key, American Visions Nominee
"Self-Portrait" Digital Art East Kentwood High School Le Tran Received Gold Key, American Visions Nominee
"Landfill Junkie" Drawing & Illustration Caledonia High School Evan Chamberlin Joel Reeder Received Gold Key, American Visions Nominee
"Dream On" Digital Art Interlochen Arts Academy Clyde Sheets Received Gold Key, American Visions Nominee
"Abstract Mind" Mixed Media Chippewa 7-8 School Stacy Christensen Received Gold Key, American Visions Nominee
it is a Sunday when I watch a woman pant
on screen and say it felt good. She is in the dark, in a box
with a view of the snow and the wooden gate
that is always open. It feels like we’re alone when she leans in
and whispers we are in the blind again tonight but I know about
the man with the camera, the one who is dressed up
like the leaves and waiting patiently in the bushes
for her? For a deer? For someone to come and save him?
After we stopped laughing, he got quiet. He leaned in. His eyes red and serious, he told me his body could take anything, especially his lungs. He had blessed lungs. Lungs that were born with asthma and then cured with cigarette smoke, lungs which let him inhale for thirty seconds straight, lungs which held enough air to last him seven minutes, eight minutes, nine minutes underwater. He was untouchable, he told me then. He was safe.
My friend tells me about the Hedgehog’s Dilemma. In the winter, hedgehogs huddle close to each other for warmth, but the only way they can do this is by hurting the others through their spikes. They decide it’s better for them to stay apart.
Tonight, we lie in our bed, pressed up against each other from shoulder to wrist, eyes closed. Some nights we hold hands because we are young enough, not enemies yet. One day we will have to hate each other, but for now we hate Jeanette and her cat Valentina. Valentina is old and white and puffy and snarls. Her claws are sharp. Once, Jeanette and Pop yelled over the scratch marks on the bedroom floor. Now, they are fighting over our birth mother and we are pressed together. We fall asleep like this, the sweat between us like paste.
Everything Lies Flat
When Victor died, we cleaned out his apartment, and found his model planes hanging from the ceiling. When no one was looking, I put my hands on the underbellies of the planes. I imagined myself inside, a dog in the front seat, a fake-sleeping pilot. I held the underbelly and I felt it. I held the underbelly and I let my hand down and the plane was still hanging from the ceiling, yes, it would not fall.