"Unlocking Independence" by Bro. Juan Sepulveda
In the contest rules, the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania specifies that the submissions "must display a visual interpretation of some aspect of Freemasonry in Pennsylvania". You can imagine how excited I was when I realized that the 100-year-old book that I have been using to create my "Unlocking Collection" was published in Philadelphia. Not only that, but I was able to find a page within the book that featured the life of Brother Henry L. Palmer, who was born in Pennsylvania and went up to become the M.E. Grand Master of Knights Templar.
In the background of the artwork, I drew Independence Hall, which is a Pennsylvania landmark and has some strong Masonic connections. For one, it is said that Benjamin Franklin laid the cornerstone for that building while he was Grand Master. If you look carefully, there is a plumb hanging and tied to it you can see a key. The key in that artwork is both a tribute to Franklin, because of his scientific experiments but also a nod to the name of the collection "Unlocking". The page laying under the Great Lights is symbolic of the Declaration of Independence, which was debated and signed inside of Independence Hall. The quill holder is inspired by the Syng Inkstand which was used to sign the Declaration of Independence.