Jennifer Wang is a first-year undergraduate student at the University of Colorado Boulder, currently pursuing a BA in biochemistry. Her passion for art started at a very young age with cartoons and sketches, but she now draws stylized gold and charcoal portraits inspired by the homeless, other marginalized communities and nature. In high school, she earned multiple gold and silver keys from Scholastics as well as the 2016 American Visions Award. A print of her piece, “My Own King,” is currently hanging in the New York College Board Office.

"My Own King" by Jennifer Wang

My Own King was part of a homeless portrait collection I drew last year anticipating change and fear of the future. In a sense, this drawing represented an inner self-portrait, which viewed myself and those who felt the same around me as aged individuals who have the power to embrace their own shape and vision of themselves. Though the base drawing was an elderly homeless man, one who truly owns nothing and lives a life seemingly full of depravity and hopelessness, he himself is the one who can take sticks and leaves to create a golden crown and make himself king. Self-empowerment is possible even if you have literally or figuratively nothing, and I hope this portrait inspires others to take the bits and pieces around them to build themselves up and empower their own futures.”