The tent painted by Antonia Wright and Ruben Millares speaks directly to the children of Haiti. The structure is made of words and poems in Creole and English to emphasize the importance of reading and the power of literacy. Haiti is not only one of the poorest countries in the world, but also has one of the lowest literacy rates, with one out of every two adults unable to read.
Haiti's hope for rebirth, especially after the earthquake, lies within the children and their power lies in their education, fundamentally their ability to understand writing. The sides of the tent are made of painted poems by Haitian poets writing about their country and her future.
These words are invitations to the children to learn to read these messages of hope. The artists created the tent with the wish to aid in Haiti's recovery through these positive texts rooted in Haitian artistic tradition.
The blue and brown hues on the walls are floating on the structure amidst the words appearing to almost evaporate within them. The colors represent sky and land, water and earth, liquid and solid - all things Haiti must focus on in the present to preserve its future. The words are the actual structure of the tent; the trunks and foundations that keep the piece together symbolizing Haiti's children.
Certain words are painted in silver, highlighting the importance of speech, a strong voice, beauty and hope. The problems of infertile land, polluted water, and lack of natural resources can only be solved through dedication and commitment to change. This temporary school is the catalyst for such actions.
The roof of the tent, comprised of two eyes looking to the sky, asks for help and accountability to those who fly over. The eyes not only represent the wishes in the children's eyes within the school, but are also a reflection of the people above. And God.
What are they going to do for Haiti's children? The irises are made of positive words in the colors of the rainbow.
Haitians believe the rainbow is a vehicle able to take them to a better place. All the words on the tent are displayed in both English and Creole as a message to the children to learn both their native tongue and the universal language in order to progress within the global system.
Literacy and education will supply these children with the tools necessary to free themselves from cycles of poverty and allow them to fulfill their potential and the potential of the country.