Students’ Artistic Reflections of Struggle Recognized by the Wadsworth and University of Hartford

Students' Artistic Reflections of Struggle Recognized by the Wadsworth and the University of Hartford

Hae Reh, photo by Donna Frustere Lay Mu, photo by Kellie Wagner
Two Journalism & Media Academy Magnet School students will be given awards for their artwork, “Where I Am Today, & Where Will I Be Five Years From Now,” through the Hartford Youth Art Renaissance program.
One of the two students, Hae Reh, a senior who immigrated just three years from the Karenni community in Thailand, earned a full scholarship to attend the High School Visual Arts program this summer at the University of Hartford for his art portfolio.
The other student, Lay Mu Htaw, who immigrated from a Karen community in Thailand four years ago, is also being recognized by the HYAR for his photograph “Braindance,” a deep self-reflective piece that also won a silver award earlier this year in the 2014 Connecticut Scholastic Art Awards.
Both students were recognized May 3rd at a reception at the Wadsworth Atheneum.  Their artwork, along with JMA students Eh Klu Phaw, Ma New and Paw Thaw, will be displayed until May 18th at the Hartford Public Library and the Wadsworth Atheneum.
The student artists arrived from refugee camps to pursue their dreams in the United States, according to JMA arts teacher Donna Frustere, who said her students “go beyond and over most challenges that many fear.”
“They are truly creative and determined,” she said.  “(They) have the freedom to pursue an education, careers and establish a safe home for their families.”
Diane Hazel, an English Language Learner teacher at JMA said Hae Reh has demonstrated a passion for drawing and using color in his works of art to share with his teachers and peers.
“So of course I am excited to see his work recognized.  We are all proud of him,” Hazel said.


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