Grand Prize: $20,000
"When I paint, the act itself compels me to express every feeling, desire, and emotion. Painting leads me to a world deep inside myself where concept and emotion are strongly related."
Dimelza Broche began drawing and painting at age 14, when, unable to play outside with other children, art-making became a lifeline and source of opportunity for the future. Broche, who has osteogenisis imperfecta, says "being in a wheelchair has stopped me from physically going places, but it hasn't stopped me from traveling to the unexplored places in my subjects' minds."
Broche is inspired by the people she has met in her life and her artwork is an interpretation of the sacredness that is found in human emotions, desires, and experiences. Halos are frequently found behind her subjects' heads, and her subejcts look directly out of the canvas to connect with the viewer. Broche's technique is rooted in her training at the Romanach Art Academy in Cuba, where she grew up until age 16. Learning by copying old masters such as Raphael and Rembrant, Broche meticulously applies several layers of oil paint to achieve the desired colors, intensity, and depth to her finished works.
Broche has an Associates of Art degree from Florida State College and is currently working on a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of North Florida.