Recent assemblies at Unadilla Valley showed our students how to turn “Emotion into Art.”
Tom Verano combines speed painting, along with inspirational messages woven with music, to create several 4-by-5-ft canvas paintings. Subjects included the Lion King, Einstein, the Statue of Liberty, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr. and more.
Verano gave two “Emotion into Art” assemblies last week at UV – one for the Elementary School and one for the Secondary School. Afterwards, students got to select two of the paintings, which will be displayed at the school. The Elementary School selected Martin Luther King, Jr., while the Secondary School selected Nelson Mandela.
Senior Nick Toscano helped lobby support among his fellow students to choose Mandela.
“I think that he is a symbol of hope because what he did in South Africa just means a lot to those in South Africa. To have someone rise up from prison amongst them and turn the country around is a great symbol of hope,” Toscano said.
For the students, it was a surprise to see what Varano was painting until he finished and displayed it for the audience because he paints upside down and with quick hand movements.
“I think (Varano’s painting) captured him well,” Toscano said.
His fellow senior, Gabby Potter, said the assembly was different, but a very “good different.”
“I think it’s a good way to help teach children about influencers who have helped shaped the world into how it is today, especially for people who have to work for their problems to be solved, and I think that it’s a good message to everybody to work and not give up, even when things get hard,” Potter said.
Senior Erin Brooks said it will be great for the school to have paintings to view in the years to come, even though as seniors, they will be graduating in a few weeks.
“I thought the artist had a really powerful meaning with what he did. I ‘m glad that we get to keep one because we get to see it every day,” Brooks said.