Daniel Rivera with his winning work, Tears of Miss Justice.
“Tears of Miss Justice” is an acrylic-on-canvas work that took approximately five months to create. The painting depicts a blindfolded woman who embodies Lady Justice, a symbol of judicial systems since ancient Roman times. The monochrome image features a splash of blue over the woman’s left eye, from which tears flow, while her right eye and tears are portrayed in red. Rivera deliberately used these colors and their placement to signify his commentary on the current political divide in the country.
Colbert shared that at the beginning of her Intermediate Studio Class, she presents broad general themes to inspire students, but the subject matter is ultimately up to each student’s interpretation. Rivera received assistance from English teacher Mikaela Marbot in crafting the title of the painting and his artist statement.
Regarding the creation of “Tears of Miss Justice,” Rivera stated in his artist statement, “She represents the way I see many of us blind to the truth of how our two-party system causes pain and fights amongst citizens of America. The parties fight, argue, and pit the people against each other.”
Rivera, a dedicated student, served as the president of the National Honor Society at Berlin High School for two years and actively participated in multiple clubs. In the fall, he will be attending Siena College in Loudonville, although his field of study is yet to be determined. Colbert mentioned that Rivera is considering pursuing a career in art or education.
Colbert, who recognizes Rivera’s leadership qualities, envisions him as a future educator, perhaps even returning to his alma mater as an art teacher. “I would love that,” she expressed.