Monday, February 14, 2011

Victory always tastes sweet...(Conclusion)

Well, I think I've kept you in suspense for long enough...

That fateful day when we received that phone call...

I remember it well.
I was sitting there in Add Maths lessons, wondering about my painting, thinking about the fact of not being in receipt of any information on whether it made it or not. Wondering if I didn't make it.

I felt a bit disheartened..

When I got home, I saw that I missed a call.
A voicemail message was also present.

It was Mrs. Davis, my art teacher...

On Saturday 29th January, my parents and I walked into the head office of Republic Bank Trinidad and Tobago on Park Street, Port of Spain.

I had to wear my Hillview College formal uniform and my parents of course had to dress up in their fine formal attire to attend this event.

After the welcomes were given on the ground floor, we were ushered up to the second floor where the ceremony was going to be held. 

Upon entering the room, we were greeted by these:

Ooh, one looks like a portrait......
There were four more on the other side of the room, but what struck me at first was that there was ONE portrait oriented piece there.

If I remember correctly, I DID A PORTRAIT PIECE...

But, I had to remind myself....

'You know what, just shut up Johnathan, you're just going to disappoint yourself...'

The awards ceremony started with a bang, they were clearly not wasting any time at all. This was probably to combat the period of time they took to actually begin the proceedings. We were supposed to begin at 3p.m. but absolutely nobody can prevent the emergence of our world famous 'trini time'.

Everyone was given a certificate of excellence and participation. A nice memoir of the experience in this competition.



It was only fitting for the General Manager of Marketing Communications of Republic Bank, Mrs. Anna Maria Garcia-Brooks to present the winners with their prizes. 

All seven first place prizes were to be presented...

In order of the room going left to right,

The first was unveiled...

An interesting composition showing the local way of life through the capture of a local vendor's stall. This painting came from the International School of Port of Spain.

The second painting to be unveiled also went to the International School. This painting showed a coconut vendor's stall:

And then...

I heard the description of my painting being called out...
I got through, the prize was mine. 
My painting was going to be exposed on an international scale..
I did it...

"The Monarch butterfly, seen in the Lopinot valley of Arouca, where colourful houses dot the hills of the Northern Range and majestic trees accent the skyline, exudes a certain magical flair as it flirts from flower to flower.
This magic is reminiscent of the Moko jumbie, a symbol of the Merry Monarch of our Trinidad and Tobago Carnival.

One of our traditional carnival characters, the towering moko jumbie, is an African spirit that is said to roam the country, protecting its people and he performs acts that are unexplainable to the human understanding. The magic released by this character embodies the vibrant connection between the natural beauty of our landscapes and the culture of our people which makes this country so magnificently unique. The moko jumbie shares the magic with the monarch butterfly giving genesis to the title, 'The Magic of the Monarch'.

I was more overwhelmed than I looked

(From left) Mrs. Anna Maria Garcia-Brooks, my art teacher Mrs. Davis, MEEE and my Principal Mr. Leslie Mahase

As you can see, I was the only dude there....:)

Ahh, me chilling with my lovely painting

 The following spot on the airbridge was claimed by St. Joseph's Convent, San Fernando:

This painting showed a baby iguana lying on a fig leaf, relaxing in the tropical climate of this island.

The next spot on the airbridge was won by St. Joseph's Convent, Port of Spain:

This painting shows a cocoa house nestled in the bushes. It reminds us that Trinidad Cocoa is among the best cocoa on the planet and is used as a premium product.

The sixth painting to be unveiled belonged to Naparima Girls College.
It was a representation of the temple in the sea:

The final piece was also from Naparima Girls College.
This one was more abstract, but it truly reflected the diversity of the country:

This was truly an amazing experience and a wonderful opportunity to showcase my art to the wider branches of society.
I want to thank the bank for providing such an opportunity to young artists.
The journey was a long, tense one, but my parents, teachers and friends all brought me through to where I am right now, being able to relate an experience like this to you.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Victory always tastes sweet...(Part 2)

The suspense was killing everyone....

My entire household, my teacher, my friends...
We were all engulfed in a tense cloud of hope, optimism and even doubt.

Days, weeks passed without any word from the bank.

Our hopes began to sink..
Then they called us.

I realized that something was different when my art teacher, Mrs. Davis, interrupted my Maths class to give me some news.
My hopes soared as my eyeballs registered her ecstatic face.
Her bright smile activated the optimist switch in my head.

I was unprepared for what was next.

She said, "Johnathan, I have news from the bank. Your painting has been shortlisted for judging..."


Finally some stress relief. My day was instantly brightened.

I had to submit a brief explanation for my piece..
We all realized that this was the next step of judging.
This had to be good if I wanted a chance at this prize.

The brainstorming session lasted from that morning until 9:13pm that night when the description was sent to Mrs. Davis in completed form for submission to the bank.

The buzz of excitement was present for another couple of days as we reminisced in pride about the quality of both the painting and the explanation.

Then, suspense reared its hideous head once more as the bank released NO feedback on whether they even received my email!!!





Suspense, suspense, suspense
Then salvation,

Mrs. Davis couldn't take it anymore and called the bank.
It turned out that they received it the day after submission....

sigh,  couldn't they say something??

Time passed, long periods of non-communication emerged and feelings of disappointment filled my head as I visioned my painting being returned to me as one that 'also ran' in the competition.

A phone call was received.

A glorious phone call was received.

I was given an invitation to the Awards Ceremony, which would unveil the seven paintings chosen for display.

To be concluded...



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