Thursday, 09 May 2019 17:27

Art Inspires Students at Riley Elementary School

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Tom Varano, of Emotion Into Art, paints at Charles E. Riley Elementary School, where students learned the importance of never letting go of their dreams. Tom Varano, of Emotion Into Art, paints at Charles E. Riley Elementary School, where students learned the importance of never letting go of their dreams. Submitted photo

Charles E. Riley Elementary School students left inspired and hopeful after they experienced Emotion Into Art, by speed painter Tom Varano.

During the recent school assembly, students in grades kindergarten to six followed Varano as he furiously painted with a brush and his hands, to the tune of powerful music and inspirational messages. Students gasped when Varano flipped all four of his large canvases upside right to reveal portraits of famous people.

After a depiction of Martin Luther King, Jr. was revealed, Varano shared with the students that his legacy wasn’t just about a dream; it was about the passion behind the dream that made his dream achievable. Varano encouraged all students to never give up on their dreams.

“Whatever your dream is, it matters,” he said. “Life is hard and that’s OK; we’re talking about dreams.”

To have big dreams, he said, the children should always remember to have books to read, individuals to hand around and goals they set for themselves both inside and outside of school. He then led a discussion on anti-bullying, having courage, learning leadership and living with passion.

In between other paintings of the Statue of Liberty, Albert Einstein and Walt Disney, students answered Varano’s questions for a chance to win prizes. After he rewarded art teacher Rebecca Woods with a T-shirt of his first painting, he also presented her with bracelets to giveaway to each CER student.

The program was made possible thanks to the Center for Instruction, Technology & Innovation’s Arts-in-Education program.

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