On Thursday, Jan. 10, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School junior Rachel Kuperman took home second place and a $200 prize for the SI Davie’s Human Trafficking Poster Competition, a high school art competition that increases awareness about human trafficking.
The competition was open to all juniors and seniors from western Broward County. Participants had to submit original artwork for the chance to have their artwork displayed as a printed poster publicly around Broward County. All art mediums were considered by the judges, and the winners were announced at Old Davie School Historical Museum.
“It is pretty awesome that [the artwork] is going to be put up around the city for people to see,” Kuperman said. “It makes me feel good, like I made a difference even if it is small.”
The competition was held by Soroptimist International of Davie, a small chapter of a worldwide volunteer organization that improves the quality of life for women through programs that lead to economic and social empowerment. Established in 1983, it supports various organizations within Broward County.
Three winners were chosen by both professional artists and community leaders. As the second place winner, Kuperman was awarded with a $200 cash prize. An additional $50 was awarded to MSD art teacher Jacquelene Lieberman.
As part of an assignment for Lieberman’s Art 3 Honors class, Kuperman was expected to submit her artwork, but did not have plans of placing in the competition.
“When I submitted my work, I had no intention of winning this competition,” Kuperman said. “When I found out I had won, it was after the award ceremony that I never even went to. No one told me that I had won anything so it came as a shock to me.
Since she was a child, Kuperman has seen art as an escape from reality, and her pieces reflect the way she feels about a specific topic or issue. Kuperman began to take her work more seriously when she joined art in freshman year. Now, she realizes that art has shaped her high school experience.