Justin Albizu, Bronx River High School, Teacher: Aimee Cavazzi, 11th grade. Digital graphic design. "I like being creative, learning new graphic programs. My design represents support for all types of Americans. I used Adobe Spark (which is a free app that Adobe software made) to make this piece. My art not only supports my community of black lives but also supports other Americans that have been oppressed by our justice system or marginalized by our society. I love the whole look of my poster. It's powerful, bold, and simplistic all at the same time."
Abigail Singh, Pelham Preparatory Academy, Teacher: Ciara Geraghty, 12th grade. Digital Drawing/ Painting- Pro-create "Expressing myself through art is something that allows me to escape to a whole other world. My mind feels as if it is being transported into the most peaceful, calming place there is whenever I create art. Art is something that soothes me and can get me through my most stressful moments of life. As soon as I begin drawing, I feel all my stress just melt away. Art truly is like a therapy to me and I believe it is something that everyone needs to try, as it is such an easy way to relax and unwind. It doesn't matter what I create, and if I like the results or not. What truly matters is how I felt throughout the process and what I have learned through it. Essentially, art is the best thing that I have decided to do. It brings so much joy and tranquility into my life. As an artist, of course this piece carried many challenges. One major challenge was getting the hair to appear realistic with many strands, highlights, and shading. It was hard to do this, especially time consuming considering the amount of strokes I had to make for the hair strands. However, I managed to overcome this. Using my original photo of myself as a reference on the side, I carefully analyzed the way the color of my hair changed where the light hit it and made sure to add those colors in, finishing it off with patiently adding each strand and having some loose strands flying around for a realistic finish. I feel as if this work is very successful because it looks almost identical to the original photo. It is my best piece so far and I have never put so much detail in a digital drawing before. I loved the process and seeing how all the colors worked together in the end, trusting the process and loving the results. I now have the motivation to make something even better and continue to do so, to see how far I can go."
Color is not a Crime
Sky Serrano, Morris Academy for Collaborative Studies, Teacher: Alex Fernandez, 11th grade. Color pencils "The difference between expressing myself through art and real-life are very different, in real-life I feel as if my voice is too little when everyone talks over me and no one can even hear me when I speak, but when it comes to my art everyone has eyes on it and wants to hear what it means or what’s it about so expressing myself through my art makes a huge difference. The most challenging part about this piece was defiantly sketching it, I didn’t have the idea for the lady at the beginning, every sketch was wrong for me until I started sketching words in an old piece there and that’s when the idea hit me to add the words in a woman hair, that would also reflect on an African American hair style. I believe my artwork was successful because it's simple yet speaks so loud in its art form and message and I was happy when I did the final cause usually I always feel like somethings missing, but this piece was just so perfect for me."
"No Te Conoci pero te extrana biabuela" / ("I didn't get to know you but I miss you great-grandma.")
Jamilet Gonzalez, Pelham Preparatory Academy, Teacher: Ciara Geraghty, 10th grade. Oil paint "Expressing myself through art makes a huge difference in my life because I get to glorify the topic or person I paint in my pieces. I've moved on from pencil and paper to canvas and paints. I feel more emotion when painting. The layers of grey and white paint show how I don't know my great grandmother but I really miss her and all I got is her photos. As an artist, the most challenging part was capturing her emotion. I will never be able to capture the same expression as the one the person in the photo is reflecting. Something so unique can’t be copied so easily so something is always off, the emotion is off when I look at it. It felt like something was missing within her emotion. I know it's successful because of the attention to texture and the different shades it has. The shadow and light portions are visible and the viewer knows where the light is reflecting from. The strokes and layers to get the image shows the patients that were needed to use when using oil paint for this piece."
Abigail Singh, Pelham Preparatory Academy, Teacher: Ciara Geraghty, 12th grade. Digital Drawing/ Painting- Procreate "Expressing myself through art is something that allows me to escape to a whole other world. My mind feels as if it is being transported into the most peaceful, calming place there is whenever I create art. Art is something that soothes me and can get me through my most stressful moments of life. As soon as I begin drawing, I feel all my stress just melt away. Art truly is like a therapy to me and I believe it is something that everyone needs to try, as it is such an easy way to relax and unwind. It doesn't matter what I create, and if I like the results or not. What truly matters is how I felt throughout the process and what I have learned through it. Essentially, art is the best thing that I have decided to do. It brings so much joy and tranquility into my life. As an artist, creating this piece in particular carried many challenges. The biggest challenge of all was to get the water to have realistic ripples. It was difficult making the fish appear as if it was in water instead of just a black background. However, I feel as if I overcame this challenge by putting a lot of focus and effort into the water ripples as I analyzed different photos of fish in water to understand how the water should be moving. I believe that this work is successful because the fish looks realistic, which is what I was going for. However, what makes it truly successful is that I enjoyed the entire process and was more than satisfied with the results. From the glistening of the scales to the transparency of the tail, I feel like it is such a great piece."
Lidia Gomez, Bronx river High School, Teacher: Aimee Cavazzi, 11th grade. Digital artwork "I would say that art is the only quality i’m confident in that I have, that being said it makes a great difference in my life because it helps me express myself as well as gives me a goals to achieve. Art motivates me to improve The most challenging thing about creating all of these pieces was satisfying myself. Every time i start something I always try to improve it in some way, for example I would ask myself “is this the best I can do” and “How can I makes this look better”. Although, I feel twice as proud when someone else likes my art or when I think it’s the best I could’ve ever done. I think the work is successful because it brings out the message that the Asian community faced many issues during covid because of racism surrounding them. I wanted to bring light into the subject because racism towards Asians has been normalized in the U.S. for a long time. It’s time to face the fact that normalized racism exists and continues to exist until we do something about it."
Malik Stevenson, Fordham High School for the Arts, Teacher: Lisa Mota, 10th grade. Mixed color paper "The difference expressing myself through art is that it allows me to not need to say things I am thinking. Basically acting as a mouthpiece for things I don't feel the need or want to verbally express. = The most challenging part about creating this piece was getting over my sense of discouragement I got by my work not appearing amazing the second I glued a piece of paper down. Seeing as how this was the first time I Made a purely mosaic based art piece I wasn't ready for it to not look correct until I was complete which made me feel as if it was going to turn out inferior to the other mosaic piece I have seen. = What I think makes this work successful is it depicting the person I wished it to depict in a very effective way. While still having aspects to it that makes it appear more eye pleasing than a real life photo of Juice Wrld."
"A Day in Nature"
Giada Ndoj, Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy, Teacher: Brianne Emsworth, 12th grade. Acrylic paint and colored pencil "Art helps me connect with the world around me and it gives me a chance to explore things within me that I don’t know about. It helps me express my emotions, feelings and thoughts in different ways. Behind every piece of artwork there are strong emotions that give life to it and makes its meaning more powerful. Art helps me think beyond certain limits and it encourages me to be open minded. It helps me see things in different perspectives and not limit myself. A challenge that I faced while creating this piece was combining different techniques to bring to life a simple black and white drawing. Color is one of the most important elements of art that can have the most impact on the artwork so I tried different techniques and colors to be able to achieve the results that I wanted. I think this work is successful because it gives a feeling of relaxation, creativity and inspiration. The right amount of details and the color choices satisfy the human eye. This work triggers the viewer’s imagination leading them to see the world from my perspective."
Lauren Fonfa, High School for Contemporary Arts, Teacher: Elizabeth Fidoten, 12th grade. Sharpie on Multi-media Paper "It is a good stress reliever and allows me to devote energy to something that I’m passionate about. Because I was using Sharpie, I had little room for revision, but I was able to transform any small mishaps into improvised details. It’s successful because it has a strong balance between abstraction and representation in a way that feels almost musical and is satisfying to me."
Marisa Crawford, Renaissance High School for Musical Theater and the Arts, Teacher: Sai Varadan, 11th grade. Charcoal "Expressing myself through art makes me as a black youth feel like I have a voice. Coming from the Bronx, it is harder to have an impact on people especially being a girl of color. Women in general find it difficult to be represented in a male dominated society, so i find it amazing that I can express myself through my art without having a label put on me. I love when my art resonates with people who feel the same way as I do. One challenging aspect of this piece was doing a side profile. I overcame this obstacle by having my fellow classmates look and critique my drawing and tell me how to fix the proportions. I found this really helpful when I was stuck on something like the nose or mouth. When I was told how to fix the sizing and placement the rest of the piece came fairly natural to me. I think this work is successful because it showcases my use of charcoal which is one of my strengths. When using charcoal I really like when I can push my lights and darks to make a very simple drawing look so much better by adding value to it. The concept of this piece has a lot to do with "light" and "dark" so I think the way I pushed my value makes it very successful. I titled this piece “Acronychal” because of the exploration and themes of light vs dark."
Alan Fernandez, Fordham Leadership Academy, Teacher: Larry Minetti, 11th grade. Acrylic paint "It takes my mind off negative emotions and it allows me to distract myself from the environment I'm in. It allows me to just be me and express my emotions. What ADHD means to me - what colors did I need to use? What strokes? What types of shapes? It all played a role in my piece. I think this work was successful because it shows that even with ADHD you can still be on top - nothing can hold you back!"
Anthony Perez Vidals, Renaissance High School for Musical Theater and the Arts, Teacher: Sai Varadan, 12th grade. Photography "Photography is a way for me to express myself and others with the use of a photo that can show many different emotions and meanings through it. It is a way for me to be able to use our voice which has been shut down at times and this is a form of being able to liberate feelings and emotions that were being buried inside. When it is hard to show how I am feeling I find ways to let it out, and what best way is by bringing it into my photos that help me express myself by showing it and being able to use photos to connect with others thoughts and feelings as well. A challenge I overcame throughout this piece was having the idea that my work will not turn out the way I wanted it to be. As an artist I was uncertain about what I was doing. One of my biggest challenges was thinking that my work is not worth the ability to try to do, I would see other artists' amazing work that fascinates me and make me think that I am not good enough for this work. I came to the conclusion that every artist has their process and ideas, this encourages me to be myself. For instance, as an artist you will never know the best of your ability until we face the challenge and experience what you are capable of. I would consider this photo successful because it allowed my ideas and thoughts to come to life; one may think that an idea that is in mind can be a challenge to create in life. This photo has many messages that can be shown and the best part is that when people are able to have their own thoughts about it. This image gives the illusion of the person rising from the ground to stand up for themselves. To add on, this image represents how one is able to fight though their barriers and find their way to the top, where they are free to be themselves and fight for what is right."
Black Lives Matter
Luz Vargas, Bronx International High School, Teacher: Rachel Levine, 10th grade. Digital art "Expressing myself through art makes me feel good as a person because I am helping a cause and I am trying to create a change. At first I had some trouble making the characters and putting them in the right place. I overcame this challenge because I remembered what I learned with my teacher, she helped me a lot and I listened to her advice. I think this work is successful because the theme is easy to recognize. You can see examples of people protesting for BLM. I added some hashtags saying '' BLM '' '' All lives matter " so others could join the movement through social media. I want everyone to recognize that there is a global injustice issue for BIPOC and that innocent people are losing their lives due to police violence. This must be stopped."
Companionship in the Age of Loneliness
Salvador Rodriguez, East Bronx Academy for the Future, Teacher: Helen Wolf, 12th grade. Digital photography "It makes me express emotions that can't be said with regular words. The emotions are expressed on what the viewer sees in the photograph. For me personally, it was about finding the right angles and lighting in order to get the perfect shot. I didn't want the colors in the photograph to be too dark but also didn't want to be to too overwhelming and bright since it was a night photograph, it was challenging to capture the brightness of the store lights while trying to add in the composition the skyline of the sun setting. I think it is successful because it still captures a lot of the negative space like darkness but also has color to it so it gives a meaning and menacing vibe to it that I wanted to capture on Southern Blvd in the Bronx which is near our school building."
Erick Ramos, Millennium Art Academy, Teacher: Laura Blau, 12th grade. Copic markers and colored pencils on mixed media paper "Art makes a huge difference in the way I see the world around me and express my emotions, dreams and desires onto a canvas. Art is my way of transferring ideas that I can't do through simple words, the deep rooted sentiment is encapsulated in so many distinct ways throughout my artwork. What was most challenging when creating this piece, was really getting the realism down, as I never really done realism in my art, also using Copic markers for the first time, it was kind of difficult so I had to practice for a while before I even started the piece. I overcame these challenges by simply applying myself and practicing, and especially not losing motivation when working on the piece. I think this work is successful because I did a really good job at the skin tones and textures done with Copic markers and pencils, especially since this is my first attempt at realism, it came out surprisingly well."
Defying Water Thermolysis
Zoe Arcement, Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy, Teacher: Brianne Emsworth, 9th grade. Digital (Google Drawings) "There are many forms of art that I use to express myself, including dance, music, and visual arts. But when it comes to visual arts, it isn’t that much about perfection and technique. In my opinion, visual artwork is all about the meaning and purpose of what you create. The reason why I put a lot of effort into my art pieces is not to impress others, but to impress myself, and to figure myself out. The final details that I add are up to my personal preferences; something that I personally think would make my art piece special to me. The pieces that I create are mostly based on a place I like or want to go to, an animal that I like or reminds me of myself, or something or someone that has a major role in my life. Whenever I am working on an art project, whether it is for school or for fun, it is usually time consuming. If I didn’t work on art projects, I would spend a majority of my time not really having anything to keep myself busy. Aside from that, I find it to be relaxing as well. Instead of having perseverative stress and thoughts, I’ll be focusing on one thing, whether it is trying to get the desired shape in Google Drawings, trying to get a loop of yarn over the other in crocheting, or trying to make the desired color in watercolors. I find that it allows me to not just express myself, but it is also an outlet for my feelings. I wanted to add a lot of detail in the face of my fox, and especially in the eyes. That was a challenge to me, because the pieces I put together were really small, and they had to fill the entire face. Since it is a mosaic, I had to make sure to leave space in between the shapes. I also had to try and match the colors and shading. I didn’t really go so crazy with the coloring. At one point, I was only using the colors that I had already been using instead of making extra custom colors. For the size of the digital triangles, I made sure that my triangles were not too big or too small. I tried making them the same size, so the artwork wouldn’t look so sloppy. Another challenge I faced was the whiskers of the fox. I tried making the whiskers using black, dark grey and dark brown, but they ended up standing out too much. It wasn’t easy for me to find the appropriate tone and shade for the whiskers, so I ended up making the fox’s face without the whiskers to save time, because I had a deadline to meet. Also, the whiskers were unnecessary, and I felt like if they were included, they would be an unwanted focal point in my work. The reason why I think that this work is successful is not just because of the amount of effort I put into it, but because I truly think that it demonstrates what I am capable of doing. The use of shading and highlights within the Google drawing really stand out to me. The amount of pieces I used also makes the fox look realistic. I also like that I made an abstract background, but yet nothing too crazy with the colors. Though unintentional, I realized that I used complimentary colors (the detailed orange fox and the abstract blue background), which really makes the piece pop out to the audience. It is also the reason why I named this art piece “Defying Water Thermolysis”. The blue background reminds me of water, and the orange fox reminds me of a scorching hot fire. Based on what I know about chemistry, if fire is hot enough and you pour water on it, the water could go through thermolysis, the decomposition of a compound. I hope that the viewer is able to appreciate how each simple tile with its own color hue is an important part of the whole image."
Dragon in a Night Sky
Billy Oliver, High School for Contemporary Arts, Teacher: Elizabeth Fidoten, 11th grade. Micron and Marker on Multi-media Paper "Expressing myself in my art cause my life to be more peaceful. I am able to handle situations with less emotion. The most challenging part when creating this piece was making his head appealing without making him too smooth. I wanted it to seem friendly where someone would say I want to meet that dragon instead of a dragon that makes you scream RUN AWAY!! This work is successful for the simple reason that the composition is well done. The piece is clearly showing a dragon in a night sky. With colors that make the dragon pop out and in the dark calm background."
Dreams vs Reality
Mayra Suquilanda, Mott Hall Bronx High School, Teacher: Jordan Rosen, 11th grade. Pencil and pastel crayon on paper "I think expressing myself through my artwork makes a difference in my life because any emotion that I'm feeling or just any ideas that I have and am not able to say can be seen through my work. Art kinda gives me a voice. Trying to get my vision on my paper without all the tools and materials I wanted to use was the most challenging part of this project. I worked hard with what I had to overcome this. I was able to create my vision overall. I really liked how the theme came together. What I ended up with on my paper is what I wanted to draw. I think the theme is good and that people will get it."
Facing My Future
Yenny Wuhou, Bronx Bridges High School, Teacher: Crystal Lamb, 11th grade. Watercolor "I express myself though art as a way of communicating and expressing all my ideas. The challenging part of creating this piece was trying to draw the hair and a bit of the side face plus the leaves 🍁 . At first I drew it and it turned out not well then I received feedback from my teacher. It kept changing and evolving. I think this work is pretty ok, I am happy with the changes I made to it. In my opinion, the main reason it is successful is because I had fun creating it."
Preethi Bukhan, H.E.R.O. High School, Teacher: Andres Ortega, 11th grade. Collage "Art helps me to forget about the stress of daily life and the responsibilities it comes with. Art allows me to have a safe space to express my emotions however I want to. Self expression through art has allowed me to look at life with a different pair of lens that I was not aware of in the past. It is because of art that life seems a lot more vibrant and meaningful. One of my challenges when creating this artwork was figuring out what story I wanted to tell. There were so many ideas running through my mind but none of them stuck with me. I overcame this challenge by stepping away from my materials and clearing my mind. I filtered out the less meaningful ideas and focused on ideas with purpose. This process led me to creating the artwork that I wanted. This artwork is successful to me because it conveys a story that anyone can relate to. Despite the obvious central theme, those viewing the piece can still perceive it in their own way. I believe the artwork is inviting, eye-catching and it walks the viewer in a personal story."
Rehnuma Rahman, Bronx Bridges High School, Teacher: Crystal Lamb, 9th grade. Pen and Pencil "It makes difference by expressing all my thoughts that are hard to explain. People can understand just by looking at it and I don’t have to express anything verbally. As an artist, I don’t think I had any challenging part but I had trouble figuring out the size of the human figures. I think I could have done better in this artwork but it’s successful because this artwork expresses the thought I had. Which is freedom. We all are stuck in our house because of pandemic, we can’t do anything freely without wearing masks and staying away from the people we like. But when everything will be over, just like that bird we’ll be able to do anything freely. We don’t have to stay in the cage like houses for months. We can go anywhere and meet anyone without any fear."
Glow of Emotion
Garyanna Gibirine, HS for Contemporary Arts, Teacher: Elizabeth Fidoten, 11th grade. Procreate on Ipad "The difference is that knowing how I draw in my style, in a different style, makes me feel cool. Also, I'm amazed at how simple it is for me to mix different colors to create something realistic and beautiful. The challenging part of making this piece was "trusting the process." The tricky part was adding the yellow to places where it was supposed to be dark to create the glowing effect. I believe this artwork is successful because I was able to achieve the look I wanted. My goal was for my work to be silky, gleaming, and radiant. I wanted my piece to have a magical quality to it and to glow"
Nereida Rivera, HS for Contemporary Arts, Teacher: Elizabeth Fidoten, 11th grade. Watercolor on mixed media paper "I try to connect my artwork to my life. It helps me process and express the experiences and thoughts I have. This artwork came from a darker place than some of my recent work, in that sense it was deeply effected by the pandemic and the peril our planet faces. It was a bit of a struggle to express this and where to go from here. This work successfully continues my investigation into the greens of earth and especially the forces of nature."
Amari Ellison, Millennium Art Academy, Teacher: Laura Blau, 11th grade. Watercolor, pen, ink, paper "The difference in expressing myself through my art is that normally I'm kinda of an introverted person and my art helps me communicate with people in a way and it helps get my feelings and thoughts around it. The challenge part about this piece was when I started making this I didn't really think of a reason or theme behind why I made it. I overcame this problem by remembering something similar to this called "Hanahaki disease" a fictional sickness from japan. I think this piece is successful because of the fungi and the flowers coming out of the throat. I really liked how it all came out in the end especially."
Dominique Adair, Renaissance High School for Musical Theater and the Arts, Teacher: Sai Varadan, 12th grade. Acrylic paint on canvas "As a young, black female, my voice is stepped on and invalidated an unacceptable amount of times. As advanced as vocabulary is and continues to get, in the end, words can only do and say so much. It is limited. Verbal expression is limited. However, art is not. Artistic expression transcends time and space. With every stroke of a paintbrush, every time I feel my sharp, graphite pencil moving along my textured sketchbook paper, every color I add to my work or mix to bring to life, every time art begins, a new idea is expressed. A new feeling emerges. One that can't be simply written down using words but has to be painted or colored or drawn to be conveyed. Art makes such a tremendous difference in my life because it allows the world to stop so that my voice can be heard loudly and understood. The most challenging thing about this piece was definitely doing the angel. I had never really drawn an angel before much less painted one, so her body proportion and the harp would often look very off and it would be quite frustrating. I overcame this by sketching multiple gesture drawings in class to really study the human anatomy and the similarities and differences between how her body would look at different angles. After a lot of observation and practice, I was able to better sketch her out to the best of my ability at that time. Personally, I think this work is successful because I tried many different ideas with this piece. I wanted to symbolize music and beauty, and I was able to step out of my comfort zone a bit and tackle painting a colorful sky as well as have a strong black woman character in my artwork. I also think this is successful in the eyes of the art critic/appreciator because it makes someone question "Why?" What does this piece mean for black females and what does a angel musician represent? What does each aspect of the piece mean in the view of the artist who painted this?"