“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.

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.

Lily Streeval, "Untitled"
Ashley Osip, "Untitled"
Emerson McHenry, "Untitled"
Emerson McHenry, "Untitled"
Shelby Radecki, "Untitled"
Shelby Radecki, "Untitled"
Za'Niah Smith, "Untitled"
Juan Frometa, "I want the biggest heart"
Lucia Hernandez, "Untitled"
Madeline Miller | "Untitled" | I am not an artist. I am a conveyer of emotion. The paint is simply a way of putting the honesty of my experiences with mental illness in a physical form. I don’t know what any of these mean. I put on music and painted what I was ready to let the world see. I cannot always put my emotions into words, but I can somehow let it show through on my skin. My medium is acrylic paint, water, and my hands. It is a very very messy process, but so is life. The idea first came to me after watching a biographical movie on Freida Kahlo. When Kahlo was bed ridden and put in a full body cast after her bus accident, she painted on her cast. She made her pain beautiful. Her cast confined her from doing typical, everyday things. I’m sure things she took for granted, now became her greatest longing. My illness has made typical activities impossible somedays. I feel a connection between Freida and myself. She painted on the piece of her that hurt her the most, now I shall paint on mine. I put a mark on the center of my forehead in every painting. This represents the area of which I feel my illness is rooted. The mark becomes a symbol of my struggles, past and present.
Anthony Guardado, "Untitled"
Aritza Perales, "Untitled"
Ashlee Perales, "Untitled"
Ayanarih Aguilar, "Untitled"
Camila Garcia, "Untitled"
Charlize Serna, "Untitled"
Chris Raya, "Untitled"
Christopher Castaneda, "Untitled"
Dalia Garcia, "Untitled"
David Lucero, "Untitled"

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