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By Janvi Acharya and Oswah Chaudhry

Every year in March, students around the country join in to celebrate National Youth Art Month. Youth Art Month, also known as YAM, was first celebrated in 1961 and founded by the National Art Education Association (NAEA). It was primarily called "Children’s Art Month" and was used to promote and celebrate the arts in school. Art helps foster creativity and instills values in those who participate in it.

The week started off with celebrating Piet Mondrian’s birthday. Students and staff were encouraged to wear primary colors, and an after-school workshop for digital painting on the iPad was hosted by art teacher Mr. Vedder.

On Tuesday, artist Yayoi Kusama’s birthday was acknowledged. Gladiators wore polka dots and a flower-painting workshop, where students and staff learned to make a symbolic flower painting, was led by art teacher Ms. Corso.

On Wednesday, NHP celebrated Juan Gris, and everyone was encouraged to wear geometric patterns. The hallways were filled with fun shapes, stripes, and plaid. After school, Ms. Livoti led an SEL Empowering Personal Mantra Watercolor painting workshop, where students used watercolor and simple shapes to paint landscapes. Students were also free to add their own empowering mantra to it.

Source from @daniellelivoti

Students, staff and faculty illustrate their passion for art by creating drawings using different mediums.

Gladiators celebrated Shirin Neshat’s birthday on Thursday by wearing black and white. Dr. Marino led a printmaking workshop, where students and staff used stencils to print different designs on paper.

At the end of the week, NHP marked Vincent Van Gogh’s birthday by wearing blue and orange. Students really enjoyed this week by dressing up and attending the various workshops the art department had to offer.

National Art Honor Society adviser Ms. Livoti and art department chairperson Dr. Marino spoke about the events of the month and the importance of the month to them.

Q: Why is art important to you?

Ms. Danielle Livoti: I feel that there is beauty in the world that needs to be appreciated and it is an important way to de-stress and show your emotions.

Dr. Katrin Marino: To me, it is the purest form of self-expression and emotion.

Q: What exactly does Youth Art Week entail?

DL: Art week is a week that we put together to bring awareness of the arts, and help showcase all of the fun things you can do in art. We had different themed dress-up days that related to artists and had different workshops that correlated to that day. Each teacher provided a workshop that was open to anyone in the school that was interested. It was a way to showcase all of the talents we had in the school and simply destress using art.

KM: March is National Youth Art month. NAEA (National Art Education Association) helps promote it.

Q: What was your favorite part of Youth Art Week?

DL: My favorite day was probably dressing up as Yayoi Kusama because I got to wear a fun wig and polka dot shirt. Dressing up was cool because a lot of people were asking me why I was dressed up like this. My outfit was a good conversation starter to talk about Art Week and to talk about an artist that not many people have heard about.

Source from @daniellelivoti

Ms. Livoti pops out in polka dots to celebrate Artist Yayoi Kusama's 92nd birthday during Art Week.

KM: My favorite part is when students, faculty, and staff were showing me what they were wearing in honor of youth art week and photos we took in front of the butterfly.

Source from @daniellelivoti

Dr. Marino, seniors Sakin Ahmed and Alexa Rago, sophomore Kaitlyn Neu, freshman Jaanvi Acharya and sophomore Joseph Reo "check" out for cubist artist Juan Gris’s birthday.

Q: How do you like to incorporate art into your daily life?

DL: I practice art almost every day outside of school. I am an exhibiting and practicing artist and work on large mixed media canvases. I tried to submit my artwork to different art shows and got to display some of my artwork at a restaurant for a month.

KM: For me, I live it, and teach it through photography. Every picture is a work of art, and you can see art anywhere, whether that’s while watching TV or walking down the street.

Q: How should students try to incorporate art into their daily lives without interfering with school?

DL: Art doesn't have to be something that is a big perfect project that takes up all of your time. It's just something that you can squeeze into your schedule whenever. For example, you can sketch on your own between doing homework or maybe at the end of the day before you go to bed and want to clear your mind a little bit and get off of your phone or do something digital. It is easy to make art manageable.

KM: I think people should create art without any thought of whether it looks good or not. It's the process of creating the artwork that's valuable, not the end product.


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