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NYC Students Showcase Artwork in Citywide Exhibition

NYC Students Showcase Artwork in Citywide Exhibition

Students from all five boroughs presented their artwork during LeAp’s ninth-annual citywide student exhibition entitled “A View from the Lunchroom: Students Bringing Issues to the Table,” designed to empower young people to have a voice in their communities and to express themselves on issues of importance to them, according to a press release.

LeAp’s Public Art Program encourages NYC public school students to speak out on social issues through the creation and public exhibition of art in NYC parks. Students work with a LeAp teaching artist to explore issues in their communities, study the history, practice, and power of public art and create large-scale artworks expressing themselves on issues of relevance to them. The students then create a mural, mosaic or collage using a school lunchroom table as a canvas—a symbol of student ideas and conversations.

The students also get the chance to visit with guest artists to see their art and learn about their lives. This year’s guest artists included Christo, Stephen Powers, Daze, Bradley Hart, Orlando Richards, Lorna Simpson, Federico Solmi, Chat Travieso, Mel Kendrick, and Sebastian Blanck.

This program culminates in a citywide student exhibition in 10 NYC parks—the largest student exhibition in the history of NYC parks and the first to span all five boroughs. It kicked-off at Union Square Park on May 19 when students presented their art and spoke about the important issues they addressed in their work. Since then, the artworks will be installed in parks near each school (two per borough). Manhattan students of 165M addressed bullying, homelessness, and the environment, Brooklyn students of 349K tackled immigration and health care, Staten Island students at 51R addressed racism, Queens students of 77Q focused on equality and animal rights, and Bronx students at 211X addressed gun violence and drug abuse.

“The arts and civic engagement are both critical parts of a well-rounded education, and it is wonderful to have partners like LeAp engaging our students and supporting their critical thinking skills, creativity, and sense of mastery. I’m so proud of the work our students have created for LeAp's Public Art Program and Citywide Exhibition, and I’m excited to continue seeing the wonderful art that all our students produce going forward,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña.

The participating schools and parks where visitors can see the students’ artwork include:

Intermediate School 77Q – Evergreen Park
Robert E. Peary School 75Q – Forest Park

PS/IS South Richmond 25R - Snug Harbor Cultural Center
Edwin Markham Intermediate School 51R – Clove Lakes Park

Intermediate School of Math, Science, and Technology 349K – Fermi Playground
Park Slope School 282K – Washington Park

University Neighborhood Middle School 332M – Seward Park
Robert E. Simon School 165M – Riverside Park

New Venture Academy 219X – Crotona Park
Community School 211X – Tremont Park

For information on LeAp’s Public Art Program, please watch this short video. You can also visit the site at

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Author: Linda DiProperzio has written extensively on parenting issues for Parents, American Baby, Parenting, and Family Circle, among others. She lives in New York with her husband and two sons. See More

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