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Young Artists Portraits at Cheeseboard Pizza

We all adore Cheeseboard Pizza, and beginning March 17th there will be one more reason to stop by Berkeley's beloved pizza joint. A collection of self-portraits inspired by the collage/ multi-media style of artist Romare Bearden will be exhibited in the beautifully renovated seating area where local jazz musicians casually crank out virtuoso sets.

The portraits demonstrate the artistic expertise of fifteen longtime participants in YAWS' Young Artists Studio class. This group of middle and high school students from Berkeley have been making art together every Monday afternoon since they were in the early years of elementary school. They have become their own artists' community and continue to express a sincere devotion to the practice of art making.

In the words of the young artists themselves:

"Art is a universal language. It's not stopped by borders or poverty. No translation is needed. I take the time to make art because everyone who sees it will carry away a little part of me that maybe no one else knows."     - Celia Jailer-Shannon, age 13, student at Martin Luther King Middle School.

"I make art for two reasons: one, it is a way to express yourself, and I believe everyone needs an outlet. The second reason is because art makes the world more interesting. The more, the better."   - Madison Williams, age 14, student at Berkeley High School.

"Art enables us to see the world through a new lens. It is in this different mindset that I am jolted from everyday life and can truly unwind mentally. Particularly in doing this self-portrait project, I was able to find out a lot about myself."      - Ines Chapela, age 17, student at Head Royce.

Photographs of the self-portraits will appear here soon. The show will be at Cheeseboard Pizza from March 17th through May 17th.

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