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By Steve Blanco, Eastern Christian Sophomore

Every year, the Art Educators of New Jersey (AENJ) hosts an art exhibition to celebrate Youth Art Month. The exhibition is known as the YAM exhibition. Members of AENJ (such as EC’s own Mrs. Aceino and Mr. Wright) are invited to encourage their students to submit their artwork for the exhibition.

Around the time Mrs. Aceino had notified me about submitting my art, I had just completed the class of Art I with Mrs. Aceino as my teacher. While I was in her class, I had completed my self-portrait, not knowing I would eventually be submitting it to any sort of exhibition. Still, I was excited to participate, and both Mrs. Aceino and Mr. Wright helped me frame my piece and fill out the necessary forms for proper submission.

Then, I was notified by Mrs. Aceino about the acceptance of my piece!

The exhibition was held from March 4th through Friday, March 11th in the New Jersey State House. At the March 11th awards ceremony, I was given a certificate of achievement. Speaker and artist of renown, Katie Truk, who gave all the awarded artists her advice on design and creativity, told the crowd of artists about her own artistic journey.

The experience was one I will never forget! It was the probably the first time I really felt like I could call myself an artist able to bring someone joy simply through something I had drawn both at school and at home.

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