State of Being

Works by Worcester Public Schools Visual Arts Faculty

About this exhibition

December 3, 2020 through February 14, 2021

Part of ArtsWorcester’s partnership with the Worcester Public Schools, State of Being showcases the diverse studio practices of the artists who also teach this city’s students.

How to see the exhibition in person:

As long as in-person visits are permitted, visitors must reserve a free, forty-five minute time-slot in advance on Eventbrite before entering the galleries. Gallery capacity will be limited to seven visitors at any time, and all visitors required to wear masks or face coverings.

Creating in balance

State of Being is a collection of works across several styles and media created by artists on the Visual Art Faculty of the Worcester Public Schools. WPS Visual Art Faculty have exhibited together more than ten times, generating a diverse collection of artworks year after year. State of Being marks the first time this group exhibit has been produced at ArtsWorcester. ArtsWorcester particularly welcomes the opportunity to honor and celebrate those that nurture the next generation of artists in our city.

These individuals hold a unique dual role, being both artist and art educator. As teachers, they teach specific capacities within the visual arts curriculum, while embracing and fostering personal expression in their students. As studio artists, they use their advanced techniques to express themselves, their own psyches, interests, and backgrounds. These dual passions inform each other, intersecting and combining to create a precarious balance, a state of being that contributes to promise in our present world.

Working largely in isolation—one teacher per school building—these artists embrace the opportunity to come together. Exhibiting together under one roof allows these educators to share techniques, themes, and experiences with like-minded colleagues in a celebration of what they do and who they are outside the classroom.

Benjamin Adwetewa-Badu

South High Community School

Street Blues, acrylic, 37" x 49", 2020, $1,000

"This painting is a tapestry of juxtaposing colors which create a fluid and balanced order in an expressionistic fauvist style."

Keri Anderson

Norrback Avenue School

Self-portrait, oil on canvas, 30" x 40", 2020, $1,500

"This work is a self-portrait of me. Lately I have been experimenting with taking photos or using other people's photos that I connect to and creating a mirrored image with computer applications and I paint from this image. This process changes the intention of how I want others to view my work. In other words, it creates for me a state of being."

Laurie Atchue

Doherty High School

Enthusiasm, acrylic on canvas, 36" x 36", 2019, $5,000

"My paintings are an exploration of flowers and the light reflected off them."

Joseph DiGregorio

Lake View Elementary School, Lincoln Street School

Inside, stained glass, 14" x 20", 2020, $750

Outside, stained glass, 14" 20", 2020, $750

Regarding Inside: "This panel represents my living room, a place that has seen a lot of me during the recent and ongoing confinement."

Regarding Outside: "On a walk through Hope Cemetery, I heard this beautiful beech tree call my name."

Special thanks go to Joe DiGregorio, who co-organized this exhibition.

Kathryn Egnaczak

Jacob Hiatt Magnet School

(counter-clockwise from top left)

Berkshires Remembered, marker distilled alcohol inks, magazine collage, plaster on canvas, 10" x 10", 2020, $75

Life of Trees, marker distilled alcohol inks, magazine collage, plaster on canvas, 10" x 10", 2020, $75

Escape, marker distilled alcohol inks, magazine collage, plaster on canvas, 10" x 10", 2020, $75

"This body of work conveys visual research into waste and material study. Dreamscape, landscape, and place inspire images generated with homemade media made from waste. These representations are part of a larger inquiry into zero-waste source material and artistic practices informed by lived experience."

Kallie Hunter

Rice Square Elementary School, Challenge and Reach Academy

Home Sweet Home, colored pencil and watercolor, 12 1/2" x 14 1/2", 2020, $125

"This mixed media piece incorporates old book paper fro a gardening manual. Painting on interesting papers is one of my favorite practices."

Tobias Irving

NCC, Roosevelt Elementary School, Thorndyke Road School

April, oil on canvas, 24" x 18", 2020, $250

"April is a raw reaction to the feelings of isolation and uncertainty in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic."

Alana Juneau

Worcester Arts Magnet School

(counter-clockwise from top left)

Peace, oil on canvas, 18" x 24", 2020, $250 (SOLD)

Harbor, oil on canvas, 12" x 12”, 2020, $50 (SOLD)

Cove, oil on canvas, 12" x 12”, 2020, $50 (SOLD)

Rooftops, oil on canvas, 12" x 12”, 2020, $50 (SOLD)

"As life twists and turns I find myself experiencing both the good and the bad, joy and heartache. It is when I am outside that I find peace, a place somewhere in the middle. These paintings are snapshots of moments in time that brought me there. When I create these images I am brought back to the quiet harbor, the abandoned mill, the calm cove. Quiet peacefulness is the state of being that I treasure and hold dear during times of unrest. These are the places I can go whenever I put my mind to it."

Susan Kellogg

Nelson Place School

(counter-clockwise from top left)

Miss Lake, photography on metal, 8" x 8", 2020, $100 (SOLD)

Acton in Winter, photography on metal, 11" x 14", 2020, $150

Blue Feather, photography on metal, 8" x 12", 2020, $150

Parking Lot, photography on metal, 12" x 18", 2020, $200

Yes Trouble, photography on metal, 12" x 12", 2020, $100 (SOLD)

"My photographic work is inspired by hometown walks surrounded by nature and the stalking of cats for that exact moment an emotion is expressed."

Darya Kuruna

Canterbury Street School

(counter-clockwise from top left)

Three Sides To Every Story, cut paper, 18" x 22", 2020, $234.56

Lazarus My Three Legged Friend, mixed media, 6" x 9", 2020, $123.45

Lazarus My One-Eyed Friend, mixed media, 6" x 8", 2020, $78.91

"Artwork is a composite of what's around me, what I observe, and what people are shoving around at that time. I'm like a crow. My nature is to be attracted to cultural color, texture, and symbols from all over the world. If it's shiny and colorful I'm in! That's the way I teach as well: a world culture's approach to art. My work is very eclectic. I am fascinated by and collect Central American and South American art. Folk art from many countries has a strong influence on my work."

Timmary Leary


Etymology, acrylic on board, 24" x 24", 2020, $350

Sharon Mansfield

Elm Park Community School

(counter-clockwise from top left)

Falmouth, oil, 11" x 14", 2019, $1,000

My Garden, oil, 16" x 10", 2020, $800

Hydrangea 2, oil, 24" x 30", 2020, $1,200

"My goal is to take the viewer to the time and place of visual impact and engage them in as many senses as possible."

Dana Mendes

North High School

Translating Identity: Racial Imposter Syndrome, oil on canvas, 30" x 40", 2020, $900

"Racial imposter syndrome, how I define it, is belonging to multiple races as a biracial individual, while also feeling ostracized by those same cultural communities because you don't fit that particular cultural image.

I'm a Hispanic and African American woman, but have never felt a part of my communities because I'm neither Black nor Spanish-speaking, and lack other prerequisites set by "my people." It has been a lifelong journey of embracing my biracial identity, along with spreading awareness on the macro of racial identities and experiences that lie within communities of color."

Callie Mulcahy

North High School

Permanence, acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 40" x 30", 2020, $2,200

"Permanence explores the various and often contradicting portrayals of love and romantic relationships presented by the media, which is embodied by a figure crying and surrounded by flowers. The flowers chosen to be included in this piece symbolize many definitions and expectations of romantic relationships given by the media, from "undying", “dishonesty”, "bridal hope", and "eternal", to, in my opinion, more realistic and healthier ideas such as "nurturing", "sanctuary", and "complexity". Though there are a spectrum of flowers present in this piece, the figure ultimately holds a Moonflower, which represents them still dreaming of love, one that is free from the harmful and rigid behaviors and expectations of the media and past relationships."

Erica Murphy

Grafton Street School

Shades of Blue After van Gogh, acrylic on canvas, 16" x 20", 2020, Not For Sale

"Shades of Blue After Van Gogh was created during the 2020 COVID summer. Painting always eases my state of being and the abstract, blue tones of the many flowers soothed my soul and provided a welcome outlet for my anxious energy. Van Gogh's blue period and his many famous flower portraits inspired my own artwork."

Amie Nemes

Doherty High School

Glimmer, acrylic, 30" x 40", 2020, Not For Sale

"Much of my work is inspired by personal life experiences. I am drawn towards the intrinsic qualities of human nature through an existential lens that allows for individual interpretation."

Tithya Puch

Chandler Elementary School, McGrath Elementary School

On Second Thought, oil, 30" x 40", 2020, Not For Sale

"I find inspiration in painting people. I try to capture a specific moment in a person's life, weather small or significant. We may never know the impact of each moment until it comes to fruition. However, all we know is that we must somehow treat each moment with a sense of dignity and importance."

Ann Rokosky

Chandler Magnet Elementary School

(counter-clockwise from top left)

Abyss, acrylic and collage on canvas panel, 5" x 7", 2020, $60

Lunar Phase, collage on matte board, 7" x 12", 2020, $65 unframed ($80 framed)

Solar Phase, collage on matte board, 7" x 12", 2020, $65 unframed ($80 framed)

"Nature and the passage of time are two sources from which I gather inspiration. The sunrise and sunset, the moon and its many phases- these are constants regardless of the uncertainty that each new day may bring.

In running, as in my art making, I both find and lose myself."

Gennaro Varriale-Gonzalez

Union Hill Elementary School

Sognando (Dreaming), watercolor on hot press paper, 12" x 9", 2020, Not For Sale

"This illustration is a cover for an anthology, "Bambini in pausa" (children on break). A group of Italian narrators created a number of stories based on essays of children during the pandemic of 2020 in my motherland, Italy. The title of the illustration is Sognando which means literally "dreaming". Even if children stay in quarantine passing time isolated in a house, their mind is in a different parallel dimension: the imagination. The balcony is a gateway, a connection from the real world to fantastic and colorful never-seen-before-places."

Francis Warner

Sullivan Middle School

Parting Wall II, pen and ink on Bristol paper, 13" X 18", 2020, $1,200

Power Struggle IV, egg tempera on panel, 9 1/4" X 16 3/4", 2020, $800

Dawn Series No. 28 of 100, watercolor on paper, 5" X 7", 2020, $70

"My work often includes topics of diametric opposition comprising metaphoric imagery. Nature is also a universal topic underscored in my representational pieces, while at the same time including metaphysical, psychological, philosophical, or theological themes."

Yihong Zhou

Gates Lane School of International Studies

(counter-clockwise from top left)

No. 1, oil on wood panel, 6" x 6" x 1 1/2", 2020, $150 (SOLD)

No. 2, oil on wood panel, 6" x 6" x 1 1/2", 2020, $150 (SOLD)

No. 3, oil on wood panel, 6" x 6" x 1 1/2", 2020, $150 (SOLD)

"云心 (Yún xīn) is series of oil paintings that explore my periods of daydreaming where I feel my being dispersing and traveling both outward and inward. Each painting is of the sky in that daydreaming moment which reflects my inner mind and heart."

Concurrently on view:

Rebecca McGee Tuck: Along the Wrack Line

Present Tense Prize Winner Rebecca McGee Tuck weaves a sculptural narrative using sea debris she collects along the Massachusetts shoreline for a dynamic first solo exhibition.