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CER Students Welcome “Emotion into Art”

Finding passion through painting has been a powerful tool in which Charles E. Riley Elementary School guest presenter Tom Varano shared with students during his recent “Emotion into Art” program.
Students in grades pre-kindergarten through six quietly sat as they remained captivated as they listened to music and spoken words while Varano painted upside-down canvases using his fingertips and paint brushes. Once mostly finished, he flipped the paintings over to reveal the important figures in history who have changed lives through sharing their own passions.
He provided stories and subsequent multi-colored paintings of Rosa Parks and her unwillingness to be treated badly, Malala Yousafzai and her dream of equal educational opportunities for girls and the Statue of Liberty and its symbolism of freedom. With colorful splashes of paint came cheers from the student crowd, as well as messages of hope, perseverance and determination.
“The key is we don’t allow people to put us down,” Varano said. “Big dreams- always search for them and work to achieve them. Life is hard, not impossible. Some of your stories are extremely sad, but it’s not the end of your story. You can chance your story.”
Continued reading about topics of interest to help pursue dreams will help ensure each student’s success, he said. If students find what they love to do and pour their life into it, as he did as an artist, they too, he said, will achieve their dreams. Riley staff members are there to support their dreams, Varano said. At the conclusion of his presentation, few students asked questions and Principal Dr. Linda Doty shared her dream, which is “to come to all of your high school and college graduations.”
Varano also donated the live Yoda painting from his CER presentation to the school. The event was made possible thanks to the Arts-in-Education program through the Center for Instruction, Technology & Innovation.

Riley Staff Members and Students at an Art Gallery

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