Creative Courage exhibit recognizes student artwork

Stephanie Lisiecki stands next to her ink portrait titled “Anna Nimmity,” which was awarded honorable mention.

Imagine you’re a senior in high school. You walk into an art gallery and see your artwork – something you’ve worked on for many hours and have a lot of pride in – hanging up on the wall for anyone to come see. That’s what 22 Academy of Visual Arts students from the West Seneca Central School District experienced when their Creative Courage exhibit opened at Enjoy the Journey Art Gallery on Friday, Feb. 3.

“It’s a different experience than having your artwork on a wall at school or hanging at home,” shared Paulette Krakowski, owner of Enjoy the Journey Art Gallery. “It’s a different atmosphere seeing other people walk past your pieces going ‘ooh’ and ‘ah’ and giving kudos.”

Noah Ost stands next to his manipulated photography titled “Space.”

Noah Ost stands next to his manipulated photography titled “Space.”

“It’s so cool because they don’t know what to expect,” added Jason Perna, art teacher at West Seneca East Senior High School. “They come in and are blown away.”

Krakowski, whose own children attended West Seneca schools, opened her gallery six years ago. In her second year of business she decided to invite the academy students to her gallery to have their work on display for the month.

“This is one of my favorite shows of the year,” she said. “It’s hard for young people, especially if they’re in the arts, to feel that they are supported. I like them to know that they are.”

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Megan Lema stands next to her work titled “Desperation,” which she created using charcoal.

Their work, which will be on display at the gallery through Feb. 27, could have been created in class either this year or last year. Besides having the opportunity to see their artwork on display in the gallery, Krakowski also provides a $500 scholarship to one academy student every May. The recipient must be attending college in the fall for the arts.

The Academy of Visual Arts is an enrichment program composed of students who demonstrate extraordinary ability and interest in the visual arts. See their artwork at Enjoy the Journey Art Gallery, located at 1168 Orchard Park Road in West Seneca, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, or between the hours of 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.




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