In honor of Black History Month, LaGuardia’s Marine Air Terminal now has a small exhibit of black-history focused artwork made by middle school students.
The exhibit is made up of a handful of free-standing panels with images of over a dozen paintings, sculptures and collages made by 50 students from New York Edge, a Queens-based nonprofit that provides after-school programming. Under the photographs are short description of the student artists and the inspiration behind each piece.
Almost 40,000 kindergarten through 12th-grade students take part in a New York Edge program, according to the nonprofit. Programs run year-round at 300 places in the city and serve young people that may not otherwise have access to after-school arts, sports or tech classes.
“When you are working with students of color its important for them to get an opportunity to see themselves, not just today but throughout history,” said Kesha Short, program director of New York Edge at P.S./I.S. 66. “Being able to express that and being able to share that with others who may not know that history was really powerful.” Short directed a troop of dancers who performed a step routine during the exhibit’s unveiling today at the landmarked terminal. The exhibit will remain in the terminal until the end of the month.
“It just encourages them to reach the next level of excellence,” said CEO of NEW York Edge Rachael Gazdick, about displaying the students’ work in public spaces.
This story first appeared on amny.com.