Jenna Diaz

Speak The Truth

Senior Project April 2015

ARTIST STATEMENT



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Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd, South
Fort Myers, FL 33965-6565
(239) 590-1000 or (800) 590-3428

I believe it is essential to speak the truth about today’s societal issues, not only in our local communities but nationally and worldwide as well. I feel compelled to speak the truth and bring light to those dark, unpleasant topics that most individuals would rather not speak about. My goal is to get people out of their comfort zone, to acknowledge the issues that are going on unnoticed in our daily lives. If we continue to turn our heads away from the unseen issues in our communities, we will never create the changes that can and need to happen. Being an artist and graphic designer has given me the opportunity to address social problems through the creation of public awareness campaigns.


As an active member of my community I have learned about different issues that our city faces. By using my skills as a graphic designer I want to bring attention to three main issues that I feel people should acknowledge and be aware of: sexual assault, crime in Fort Myers, and wheelchair accessibility. I feel connected to these three campaigns because I can personally relate to each of them. By volunteering with nonprofit agencies that handle cases of sexual assault I have learned a great deal, and have met and know people who have been directly affected. Growing up and being raised in the Fort Myers area, I have witnessed how the instance of violent crime has risen while at the same time police and security forces have declined. Nine years ago at the age of 15, I was in a car accident. During the accident I had a spinal cord injury causing me to become a paraplegic and leaving me wheelchair bound. By creating a campaign about issues related to wheelchair accessibility, I can offer my unique perspective and give other people in wheelchairs a chance to be heard and seen.


To create these campaigns I used my skills in graphic design, typography, photography, video and visual abstraction. The Adobe Suite software provided essential tools, including Photoshop and Illustrator CS6 to create and manipulate the abstract images in each of my campaign posters. To capture the photographs in my wheelchair awareness campaign I used a Canon T3i camera and brought them into Adobe Bridge and Photoshop to convert the images into black and white. To create my wheelchair awareness videos I used a GoPro camera to demonstrate my personal perspective, and Final Cut Pro software to edit and combine the videos into a consecutive film that can play throughout the show. To be able to use the skills I have learned over the years to create works of art that not only are visually appealing but also informative allows me to connect with my audience in many ways.