Mock I Want To Hold Your Hand Carolyn Mock
Artist Feature

Tue, Nov 24, 2020

Who is Your Chosen Family?

For the past three years, the Research Center for the Americas (RCA) at the University of California, Santa Cruz has partnered with the MAH to showcase students’ creativity through an annual photography contest.

Leading interdisciplinary research on Latin America and Chicanx/Latinx Studies, the RCA began this photo contest and scholarship program as a way to sustain the arts, recognize creativity, and encourage dialogue. Open to all UCSC students, the photo contest winners are chosen by a selection committee representing UC Santa Cruz, the MAH, and members of the local community.

While we wish we could have debuted these photographs inside the museum as they were intended, we're thrilled to announce this year's scholarship winners are Carolyn Mock, Michael Lara, and Vanessa Alarcon.

Carolyn, Michael, and Vanessa's winning photographs best represent the theme of “Chosen Family” and capture images of ancestors and friendships, the intimate beauty of new families, and the wonders of nature. Poignant and inspiring, these photographs will be saved as part of the MAH's expansive Santa Cruz County historical archive.

Alarcon Stars And Sequoias Vanessa Alarcon

Stars and Sequoias

Vanessa Alarcon (Major: Astrophysics)

Looking up to remember family members far away, and with nature towering over, remembering chosen family expands from nature to the cosmos.

Lara The Chosen And The Given Michael Lara

The Chosen and the Given

Michael Lara (Major: Combined LALS & Sociology)

The "dead" and the “living” represent my ancestors and my present, coming together to form my loving chosen family.

Mock I Want To Hold Your Hand Carolyn Mock

I Want To Hold Your Hand

Carolyn Mock (Major: Anthropology)

Welcoming an adopted daughter into their lives, she naturally reaches for her new father’s hand, and a chosen family is born.

A Note from the RCA

"The success of the photo contest has only been possible because of the meaningful partnership between the RCA and the MAH to support students. Organizing the photo contest has given the RCA a new avenue to support students’ artwork. We are thrilled to be able to introduce these stunning photos to a larger audience."

The RCA hosts a broad spectrum of educational, thought-provoking events that are open to the public. Be sure to check them out and tune in here.