Embracing Our Differences Announces 2022 Outdoor Art Exhibit and Top Winners

Arts & Culture

Pictured: Cultivation by Samantha Miller

Since 2004, Embracing Our Differences has used the power of art and prose to promote diversity. One way it achieves this is through its annual, juried international outdoor art exhibition comprising 50 billboard-sized works of art, each accompanied by an inspirational quotation. This year’s response to the call for artwork and inspirational quotations broke last year’s record, with 17,413 entries pouring in from 123 countries and 47 states. Students from 423 schools around the world submitted artwork or quotations to the juried exhibit. The winning quotations and art will be showcased in the 19th annual exhibit, January 15 through April 10, in Sarasota’s Bayfront Park. Awards are given for “Best-in-Show Adult,” “Best-in-Show Student,” and “People’s Choice” categories, with the last chosen by visitors to the exhibit. Adult art winners each receive $1,000; students receive $1,000, which they split with their school’s art program. The person who pens the winning quotation is awarded $1,000. 

The Best-in-Show Adult winner for art is for “Cultivation” by Samantha Miller of Sarasota. The work shows a garden of flowers—some blooming, others withered or dead. The stems are illustrated with words designating attitudes and emotions, including “Love,” “Hate,” and “Integrity.” Jenai Barco, a 9th grade student from Waipahu, Hawaii, won the Best-in-Show Student award for her painting, “You Are Enough,” which depicts a figure inscribed with positive words. The award for the Best-in-Show inspirational quotation was given to Alicia Chalmers of Bradenton for: “We are so much better united in kindness than divided in anger.” Embracing Our Differences’ annual outdoor exhibits are the heart of a year-round program of activities designed to use art as a catalyst to create awareness and promote diversity. 

Pictured: Cultivation by Samantha Miller

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