“I am a Work of Art”

 Every child is a work of art.

In 2017 the American Art Therapy Association, collaborating with Office of Head Start and Youth M.O.V.E. National, sent out a call for art and an invitation to young artists to show how they took these words to heart: “I am a work of art.” Gathering hundreds of submissions, we created this digital exhibition to celebrate the important role of art and creativity in mental health, wellness, and social-emotional well-being for our children, youth, and young adults.

The exhibit was curated in honor of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration’s National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day.

Submissions from Pre-K and Elementary School Students || Submissions from Middle and High School Students

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The young artists whose work is shown here agreed to participate in this online exhibit, #IAmAWorkOfArt.

Annalise Gibbons, "Untitled"
Athena Senadenos, <i>Untitled<i>
Emma Barker, "Untitled"
Logan Santelli, "Untitled"
Matthew Foegen, "Untitled"
Steven Key, "Untitled"
T.J. Hatzidakis, "Untitled"
HollyMcDermott, "Oneness" - Self-Portrait
Deanna Giardina | Range in Emotion | "I am a work of art because I have a lot of depth to me. I have a very mature mindset, even though I have some immature thoughts. I stay true to myself and my beliefs. For a while, I wasn’t confident in my own skin, but now I love my body, for the most part. My emotions are part of the person I have become. I’m also very artistic and outspoken."
Deanna Giardina | Psychedelic Opening | "This Mandala represents my emotions going from negative to positive overtime, and includes my mother’s support. In the center, negative emotions underlined my happiness, but now my positive energy just pours out. The bright represents the positive and shows how happiness can overpower the bad. I learned that I am more positive than I realized."
Lissa Garcia, "Vivid Darkness"
Richelly Belliard | The Key to Happiness | "I believe my artwork describes creativity, fun and uniqueness. The title I chose for it is 'The Key to Happiness.' It shows my hands reaching for this key. What makes me a work of art is my views, personality, that I’m caring and loving and my mental and emotional scars."
Tatianna Austin | Honest, Different and ? | "I’m Honest, Different and _______ because that’s me. When I was creating my art I was calm. There are so many different colors in my painting, but my hand is one of a kind. I can’t make up my mind. I don’t know how to fill in the blank. I hope I will learn after this."
William Tomasini | Fading Mystery | "I am a work of art because of my scars, views and opinions. I’m a painting in a sea of creation. My anger is a fire that never dies. I’m a masterpiece that hasn’t had its moment to shine. I have my beauty and my ugly; I’m strong and weak; I’m angry and calm. I have scars from all kinds of journeys and adventures. Every scar shaped and molded me. I no longer create scars. I have promised to change the way I mold myself."
Ashmi Sheth | Untitled

Ashmi Sheth – Untitled

The artwork tries to portray some of the myriad capacities “ART” has. It tries to explain how art can be a form of expression and help the mind attain peace, relaxation, and a higher connection with Self. It also depicts that Art is a Universal Language, and thus beyond all bounds.

Click to read Ashmi’s poem

Misdalia R. Domena | Untitled | "I am more than just my scars… I am…"
Megan Williams, "Untitled"
Alayshia Randle Horn, "A Happy Animal"
Camila Morales Saloman, "Castle"

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