2022-2023 Ida F. Haimovicz Visual Arts Award Winner

Sebastian Tulin

Winston Churchill High School 

I have an odd fascination with people. Especially those in isolation. A common theme throughout my work is unidentifiable figures in a large environment; a reflection of how I often feel in my own life. I notice people who are alone in the background of society more than the people surrounded by others because that’s how I often see myself. 

My inspiration to create art comes from two things: a desire to live other lives and a need to express my own thoughts and emotions. Through portraiture, street photography, and narrative photography, I do both of those things. When I take portraits, it’s not only a representation of who that person is, but often a reflection of how I feel or wished I felt. My candid street photography is no different. Photography allows me not only to express my own emotions through narrative and aesthetic themes, but also to connect with others who may feel the same way. It has introduced me to a whole new community of people and has helped alleviate my own feelings of loneliness.  

I discovered photography while stuck at home during the pandemic. At the time it was just a creative hobby and something healthy to spend my time on but it has become so much more to me. Photography is my escape. It allows me to be someone else when I am taking pictures. I have developed the skills to conceptualize, visualize, and execute an idea and I have become obsessed with learning to be the best I can be. I am able to capture increasingly complex ideas and emotions through a completely nonverbal and stationary art form. I love telling people things, but I never actually know quite what to say or how to say it. Through visuals, however, I can say so much without actually saying anything at all. 

📸 Sebastian’s Photos

Love at the Golden
Gate Bridge
Digital Photography, 2023

The Runner Triumphant
Digital Photography, 2022

Digital Photography, 2022

Runners-Up 🎉

Ella Spirtas

Albert Einstein High School 

My work primarily focuses on the exaggeration of color, shape, and movement in order to amplify the emotion behind my portraits or to heighten the visual interest of my compositions. I mostly work with acrylic paint, colored pencils, or graphite and I use both translucent and opaque layers of these media in order to create pieces which combine 2D and 3D effects. My interest in both art and science is one of the main inspirations behind my pieces, many of which strive to blur the lines between logic and creativity. Much of my portraiture is also inspired by memory and emotion, as my subjects, styles, and color schemes are specifically chosen to evoke certain feelings in their viewers. 

Olivia Ensign

Albert Einstein High School 

As a visual artist, I use my personal experiences to tell universal stories about human nature, identity, and social change. My African American and Welsh ancestry as well as my love of pop art, humor, and music influence my work. By exploring mediums and materials – primarily painting, digital, and pencil – I love to push my creative boundaries. I communicate that delight is available to everyone, at any time, no matter how fleeting time may be, and in everyday life, no matter how easily we fall into the same routines.