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A Special, Private Midtown Gallery for Student Artwork

Thursday, May 03, 2012 - 05:05 PM

A floor of a Midtown Manhattan office building has become a gallery for artwork by middle- and high-school students from 40 New York City schools.

The exhibition, called "Goals and Dreams," opened Wednesday night and features 129 paintings, drawings, sculptures and photos. The artwork lines the hallways, lobby and cafe walls of the 22nd floor of 31 West 52nd Street, where an investment banking firm, Centerview Partners, has offices.

Bageot Dia, 16, is in 11th grade at Jonathan Levin High School for Media and Communications in the Bronx. He was speechless when he saw his photo of a couple kissing in a park, framed and hung.

"No words," he said. "It's just amazing to see it up here of all places. I wouldn't think this would go so far. I'm really happy."

An abstract black-and-white photograph that Tasfia Tabassum, an eighth grader at M.S. 51 William Alexander in Brooklyn, took of her bedroom was also selected for the show.

"Having this opportunity really means a lot to me," she said.

At the opening, Bageot, Tasfia and the other student-artists were given $100 gift certificates for the stores Pearl Paint and B&H; Photo.

"Goals and Dreams" was organized by the arts education nonprofit organization ArtsConnection.

"It’s about recognizing the students for their talent and it’s giving them back something that will allow them to continue to do their work," said Steve Tennen, who has been ArtsConnection's executive director for 26 years. "And it’s getting them into a corporate setting that they may never have seen before."

Although the Centerview Partners office is closed to the public, student work can be viewed online.

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