2023 Contest

Making Work Visible

City University of New York / Labor Arts

Stacey Rivera

Visual Arts  Third PlaceStacey Rivera Art, City College of New York
Behind all Labor
colored pencils, charcoal and sharpie , H 32” W 24”

Immigrants have contributed alot to society, by working hard labor through many hours days, and months. They continued working hard despite weather conditions-with all sharing a common goal which is a better future. A better future for either themselves or their families. My piece shows the most known labor jobs in the country which are construction, agriculture, and housecleaning. In my piece, it displays what workers go through every day.

Colored pencils are used to color in the drawings, I chose colored pencils because they give out a mix of soft and bold shading, which may capture the audience’s attention. Sharpie is used to outline boldly the subjects I want to stand out. Finally, to show the dirt, I used charcoal which provided a texture that makes one know it represents dirt and mud. You can see it appear on some of my subjects. As for my piece, on the lower right side, you can see a construction worker’s boots which are filthy due to the constant work on mud and dirt which they endure for many hours. On the top right side, you can see a construction worker coughing dust from his lungs due to the work environment. The left side shows the agriculture side the dirty and overworked hands…and workers carrying vegetables and other produce, and farmers picking out vegetables on the lower left side. Finally, house cleaning can be shown on top, it shows a woman with wrist pain indicating that she had to clean a lot of floors and rooms for the whole day. A tired woman can be seen on the top left side, many immigrant women are known for their roles in house cleaning. In essence, not many are appreciated for their hard work and efforts, they push themselves to go over the limit to show that they are worth working in that area of job. These workers deserve recognition and the respect they deserve!