Felicia Olin, Springfield
Title: "Portrait of Nawar al-Awlaki"
Medium: Mixed and acrylic
Narrative: When my father changed his Facebook profile picture on February 2 to the face of a smiling little girl with her hands on her cheeks and a giant red bow in her hair to admit I found it rather odd. My father had always been very political and unashamed of it so when I inquired about the photo, I was not surprised that the little girl in the photo had been part of a tragedy. Her name was Nawar al-Awlaki. She died January 29, 2017 at the age of 8. She was shot in the back of the neck in the raid in Yemen that also claimed the life of Navy SEAL Ryan Owens. She looked like Minnie Mouse in the picture. When my father died 17 days later, the face of the little girl haunted me more. The need to give her a voice grew into this painting. The smile drained out.