Pelham Bay Library displays OLA students’ artwork

Displayed Picasso-style portraits from OLA students.
Photo courtesy of Mary Jane Musano

Elementary and middle school kids at one Bronx school were recently presented with a special opportunity.

On Saturday, May 30, Our Lady of Assumption School displayed its student’s art at the Pelham Bay Library.

The students, grades K-8, had worked on their art pieces and projects for the entire semester while under the guidance of longtime art teacher Joan Gerardi.

The children were extremely motivated by the special library exhibit, she said.

“These kids amazed me with their creativity and they definitely created more than I expected,” said Gerardi, who has been an art teacher at OLA for 30 years.

“The great aspect of art is that everybody has the opportunity to be successful in something because it encourages a creative environment. The students were definitely motivated by this opportunity and I am so glad that the library allowed us to do this because the kids really deserve it from working so hard.”

An experienced educator to say the least, Gerardi sometimes tries to further motivate her students by repeating the motto ‘you never know what you can or can’t do until you try’ to them.

In this situation, however, students were clearly inspired by the opportunity of seeing their creations on public dispay. Final projects on display at the library included various drawings, paintings and prints created by the students.

Gerardi’s sister, Mary Jane Musano, of the Waterbury LaSalle Community Association, is very proud of the job that Joan has done to make such an opportunity happen for her hardworking students.

“A child’s education should be balanced with academics, sports and the arts so they can become well rounded adults,” said Musano. “Also, when a child succeeds at being creative, especially when they struggle with academics, it gives them the self esteem they need to carry them successfully through life.”

“My sister happens to be an expert at leading the students to develop their creative side in a big way,” said Musano.

The school’s principal, Tony Puleo, also gave praise to Gerardi for her great leadership and the students’ artistic creations.

“It was very exciting for our students to have their artwork displayed in a public area where people will see just how creative they can be,” said Puleo. “These students created beautiful art pieces and Joan (Gerardi) did a fantastic job working with these students and motivating them to produce their absolute best work.”

The artwork was displayed at the library from Saturday, May 30 to Tuesday, June 9.

Reach Reporter Steven Goodstein at (718) 742–3384. E-mail him at
Photo courtesy of Mary Jane Musano

More from Around NYC