South Orangetown Central School District

“Art connects us” is not only the theme of Youth Art Month, it’s the purpose behind Olivia Guerra’s Senior Seminar project. The Tappan Zee High School senior has collaborated with mentor Donna Grasso and art teachers districtwide to produce a K-12 virtual exhibit of student work in honor of Youth Art Month.

“Art is an expression of yourself, what you’re thinking and what you don’t say out loud. With the pandemic, not a lot of people have been getting out to talk with others. Art is a great way for students to put their ideas and emotions on paper and let it all out,” Guerra explained.

At first, she planned to use her Senior Seminar experience to expand her own work by exploring different mediums. And while Guerra has recently spent more time doing sculpture and painting three-dimensional objects, showcasing the work of artists districtwide has been fulfilling and prompted her to plan an outdoor exhibit of her own work for family and friends this spring.

“I love the freedom that comes with doing art but I was always self-conscious about my work. It’s kind of scary, like letting people in my head so they can really see me. Doing my own show is about overcoming that fear and getting out of my comfort zone,” said Guerra. She is headed to SUNY New Paltz in the fall as a psychology major and intends to continue pursuing artistic endeavors.

“Many thanks to the K-12 art teachers who inspire their students every day and help strengthen the self-awareness and confidence to make art, to appreciate art and to appreciate and respect the individuality of themselves and others,” said Grasso. “To view more fabulous student art, follow us on Instagram at @WOS_artroom, @soms_artroom and @tzhs_artroom! Cottage Lane’s Instagram is coming soon.”

View the K-12 virtual exhibit here.

TZHS art and Senior Seminar student Olivia Guerra