Clara Getty ‘21, News Reporter
Every year, Mercersburg artists are encouraged to submit work to the Inspired By Art contest hosted by the Writing Center. Students respond to the specific prompt in whatever artistic medium they choose (art, literary, music, or performance).
I completed this piece, The Internal Struggle of Freedom and Democracy, during my Winter Intensive. Taught by Arts Faculty and Director of Galleries, Syd Caretti, History Faculty, Erin Caretti, and Arts Faculty, Wells Gray, “Life Reflected, The Fine Art of History” looked at the way artists have responded to the current events around them for hundreds of years. We looked at various pieces that were responses to a variety of global events, analyzing both the artistic and historical significance of the works. We then began to brainstorm ideas for our own responses, which needed to highlight a current global issue and be in a form able to be consumed by the Mercersburg community and general public.
At the time, the political division in the United States was widening as the results of the election certified Joe Biden as the next president. This gap is still as wide as ever, and is not a new concept in the last few years. I knew I wanted to respond to this broad issue, so I really got to thinking about what the essential reasons for this divide were.
I came to the conclusion that the country is split over prioritizing two of our founding ideals: Freedom and Democracy. Every American citizen desires both, but especially during this time of division, one takes precedence over the other. The struggle of balancing these two ideals is always there and is what keeps our country running. However, during this time of political division, Americans are seeing this struggle more clearly than before. This relationship can be seen in the two lungs of the Statue of Liberty; the left lung represents the urge for democracy, the right for freedom.
My hope is that this piece can get students thinking about the political climate in the United States (or any country, for that matter). It is important to be politically aware and engaged. I’m honored and thrilled that this piece was chosen for the Inspired By Art contest, and I can’t wait to see what pieces are created from this prompt.