Stepping into Ms. Kyriakakos classroom truly felt like entering an artist’s studio. She enjoys a large classroom with high ceilings. The room is filled with wooden easels and work stations. Along the walls there are prints of well known artists intermingled with the work of her students. Her students had recently done a series of charcoal portraits. Ms Kyriakakos had them beautifully framed. She lifted a few of them to show me how well they had come out. And she said, ‘my students come to me with no training and then they create something like this’. The ‘this’ being art that looks professionally done and hauntingly beautiful. 

The room had such a zen vibe as students were immersed in their creations. While I was visiting the students were painting self portraits based on a photograph of themselves. As I walked around the room  taking a few candid shots, I stopped and talked with a few of the students. We talked about what inspired their pieces and what they planned on doing after their senior years were over. The students shared about how they were inspired by all things 90’s to Nicki Minaj, Cardi B and manga comics. 

The students shared why they chose the colors that they did as well. One student was using different shades of purple and lavender ombre which had a calming effect. Another student chose their background color because it made the image in the foreground pop. In talking to the students it was clear that they enjoyed the class and that they were invested in their pieces of art. The students shared that they wanted to go on to careers such as psychologist, flight attendant and a nurse. As they move on from this school and this classroom, I know the beauty of art will always staying with them.