Winner Brian Beaman with Julie Fratantoni, Program Manager of the Kindness Initiative

My artwork presents two people in a tight embrace, one figure ambiguous to any detail. The fearless figure can be interpreted as standing toward the female subject, accepting the hug or conversely as facing away from the woman. These opposing implications symbolize how one can accept the care and help from other individuals or turn them away and stay in isolation. The hands can similarly be interpreted to belong to either woman or the characterless subject, which is symbolic of how someone must first look into themselves and find a common thread of relatability to exhibit empathy for someone else, as well as to accept the empathy of others. To find similarities in each other’s lives is to discover that we are all human; therefore, empathy is the most important emotional response between two individuals. The article I read entitled “Training Your Emotional Brain: From Science Fiction to Neuroscience” struck a chord with me as it orchestrated and strengthed the notion that we do have a choice to turn away from the idea of empathy and distance ourselves apart from each other or to embrace this idea fully and become more united with our fellow human beings. Empathy is more than an emotion we are gifted with or cursed, it is something we can practice, develop and strengthen every day of our lives.

Runner-Up Ken Castro with Julie Fratantoni, Program Manager of the Kindness Initiative

Empathy is an important social skill to have. It is much easier to relate to those around you when you can “feel” what that person is feeling without them explicitly saying it. My work shows two young people, both happy because the other is happy. This shows the importance of empathy in teenager’s minds.

Finalists

Nine high school students showcased their work with remarkable depth and thoughtfulness, they took complex neuroscience concepts and tied them to personal life experiences by expressing them in creative and engaging ways.

 

Winner Brian Beaman with Julie Fratantoni, Program Manager of the Kindness Initiative

My artwork presents two people in a tight embrace, one figure ambiguous to any detail. The fearless figure can be interpreted as standing toward the female subject, accepting the hug or conversely as facing away from the woman. These opposing implications symbolize how one can accept the care and help from other individuals or turn them away and stay in isolation. The hands can similarly be interpreted to belong to either woman or the characterless subject, which is symbolic of how someone must first look into themselves and find a common thread of relatability to exhibit empathy for someone else, as well as to accept the empathy of others. To find similarities in each other’s lives is to discover that we are all human; therefore, empathy is the most important emotional response between two individuals. The article I read entitled “Training Your Emotional Brain: From Science Fiction to Neuroscience” struck a chord with me as it orchestrated and strengthed the notion that we do have a choice to turn away from the idea of empathy and distance ourselves apart from each other or to embrace this idea fully and become more united with our fellow human beings. Empathy is more than an emotion we are gifted with or cursed, it is something we can practice, develop and strengthen every day of our lives.

You Smile, I Smile by Ken Castro

You Smile, I Smile by Ken Castro

 

The Complexity of the Teenage Brain by Charlotte Clark

This piece is inspired by the teenage brains’ response to watching someone in pain. A study (from the article entitled “How Do the Brains of Children, Teenagers, and Adults Respond to Others’ Pain?”) drew participants of all ages together in order to analyze their neurological response to watching someone in pain. The red and blue characters on either side of the piece represent the alpha power increase and alpha power decrease responses while the central purple character symbolizes the complex and unique union of the two neurological responses that were only present in the teenage participants of the study.

Sympathy by Taylor Dunson

It is a drawing of two hands, one on top and one on the bottom. There’s a heart being exchanged between the two, showing and sharing sympathy to one another.

Loving Embrace by Brain Beaman

 

Linking by Jack Barriere

I wanted to portray how interconnected people are through empathy. As humans, we feel when someone else gets hurt and take that information to help them in acts of kindness.

Empathy from the Past by Akeysha King

The teenage girl’s boyfriend just broke up with her. Her mom is the one showing empathy; because, that has happened to her. The girl’s little sister doesn’t understand the situation.

Empathetical Understanding by Gracie Fenner

 

Deanna’s Concern by Ben Courtwright

This image of my grandmother, Deanna, taken in the middle of a grocery store, illustrates the feelings of grandmotherly concern in a fraction of a second. Our family was in crisis and she came to take care of us.

A Connection by Sydney Headrick

Empathy is what makes humans worth more than other species. The ability to share the feeling with another inspired this painting to show the connection people can make with each other while using empathy. The colors of the painting are selected in comparison to the brain scan colors, centering the painting around calmness and soft emotions.