Fortress Over the Misted City
I stood atop the hill in Salzburg, Austria. My friend from the hostel and I were inside the Hohensalzburg Fortress, the largest entirely preserved fortress in Central Europe, which wraps around and can be seen to on the right side of this photo. Below us was the city of Salzburg, the city of Mozart's childhood, the city of the film of The Sound of Music. I loved seeing the contrast between the fortress's preserved age and the newer buildings below, but I continued daydreaming about the hills beyond. It was a hill like this that the VonTrap family escaped over on their way to the Alps and safety. Even now, when there isn't a mist over this city, the Alps are visible in the distance.
This photograph shows a night scene of a historical river harbor called Jiaotianmen. It is located in Chongqing, which is a major city in central China. The river has allowed Chongqing to become a large trading center between cities. The buildings shown are a mixture of old Chinese architecture styles with bright lights and skyscrapers that match modern China. I took this photograph at the midway point in my China May-semester trip. This night meant a lot to me because we met up with classmates who were spending the whole semester at Sichuan International Studies University.
At The Al-Aqsa Mosque
This painting is an interpretation of a column at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. It was part of a beautiful arch in front of the Dome of the Rock. I was in Israel during the Concordia Orchestra tour in May 2014, and the painting serves as a reminder of all of the unique experiences that I had and the wonderful people I met.
Memorial at Mauthausen Concentration Camp
The Mauthausen Concentration Camp housed almost 200,000 people over its seven year run. Since then, it has been turned into a museum that offers tours throughout the different buildings. This memorial, which sits between the cemetery and gas chamber, is a tribute to the thousands that died there. I was sixteen when I walked through the camp. I signed on to be a People to People Student Ambassador. Mauthausen was on the itinerary, but I didn’t understand the impact it would have. The air there is different; you can sense the tragedy that happened there. People still go to remember all those who died because of racism. It’s a never-ending battle that the world is still overcoming.
Churros for Breakfast
I have always been fascinated with the idea of language and culture; however, it was not until I actually lived in Europe that I finally understood the beauty behind it all. For months I indulged in the culture of the people of Segovia, Spain. I celebrated their holidays, walked their streets, spoke their language, ate their food, etc. Since I have returned, almost all of my paintings hold a significance of the Spanish culture. My painting, “Churros for Breakfast,” was painted using only a pallet knife and oil paints. The piece portrays two cups of chocolate and a plate of warm churros, a common snack in Spain. I chose to use only a pallet knife because the look of texture and playfulness reminded me of the people, streets, and artworks I saw while experiencing such a vibrant culture.