“ M I D W E S T I C O N S ”
DEREK JETER | MICHAEL JORDAN | LEBRON JAMES
There is a reason why they call the Midwest the heartland of America. It pumps blood into every other state, giving life to culture through its people raised who have gone off to do great things in the world. Like in the cold of winter opening up a jar of last year’s homemade canned fresh summer tomatoes stocked in your grandma’s basement, the Heartland has, time and time again, proved to be a bonafide preserver of our nation’s values, morals and traditions. From its early innovations, to its people, to their strong value system which still forms their identity today—that is what makes this region so special. My mother’s whole family hails from Toledo, Ohio, so I already have a special place in my heart for the states that surround it.
I have lived in many different places and I still feel like the Midwest is where the best people are. From Field of Dreams, one of the most quintessential baseball movies of our time, set in the outback of Iowa, to 8 mile set in the gritty urban streets of Detroit the birthplace of Eminem—the spectrum of nostalgia that the Midwest exudes is vastly complex which fosters its endearing character. Music is also a major inspiration to me: Prince in Minnesota, Michael Jackson in Indiana, The Temptations out of Detroit, Motown in general--you name it, the heartland probably created it.
Being an athlete growing up I have always admired the icons and people that are inspiring the next generation of boys and girls. Derek Jeter, Michael Jordan and Lebron James left their mark on the Midwest but in different ways. Jeter was raised in Kalamazoo where his upbringing laid the groundwork for his baseball skills and determination, giving way to his longevity in the MLB. Jordan started his career there with over a decade in the Chicago Bulls which became the pinnacle of not just his career but of basketball history. Lebron James rebounded where Jordan left off, cementing himself as one of the greatest NBA athletes to come out of Ohio. These three icons are a testament to the soul of the Midwest in in the realm of sports.
I hope you enjoy my collage art—this is my first Art Prize so I would love to have your vote! Each piece took over 40 hours to complete, made entirely out of hand-cutout squares from recycled magazines.
Whitney L Anderson