Unified Art Project brings together peers, promotes creativity, collaboration


Priya Maraliga

National Art Honor Society vice president senior Liz Rymer explains an activity to other NAHS members during a meeting.

Ananya Pandit, Assistant A&E Editor

Unified Art Project, which started this year, strives to connect students of differing abilities, expand their artistic abilities and enjoy time together.

This new project was founded by instructional student support liaison Felicia Rutigliano, who was looking for a place where students could do more art in an inclusive environment. With the help of National Art Honor Society (NAHS) advisers Danielle DeCiero and Rebecca Duffy, she was able to write and receive a grant from the Northborough Education Foundation to fund the activities. Students have also been involved in the starting process of this project. 

“I have had separate meetings with the National Art Honor Society students to talk about how things look and how things are going, because they are kind of taking the lead on this,” Rutigliano said. 

The group, which currently consists of 14 students, has met twice this year. Sophomore Arianna Gentile, a member of NAHS, has attended both of these meetings. 

“Everyone comes together, and there’s usually Mrs. Rutigliano and Mrs. DeCiero who explain the activity,” Gentile said. “The activities are pretty simple, but you can take them your own way. They’re unique to everyone, so there are no expectations.”

The art projects are intended to spread over multiple meetings, with the current project consisting of three to four stages. 

“The first stage was just getting some colors down on the canvas, talking, chatting, and having a good time,” Rutigliano said. “Then the next time we got together we used a very cool technique where you pour soap all over the canvas that has dried down. Then you spray paint it, which gives it some dimension.”

While there were no challenges during the starting process, there have been conflicts with scheduling due to the many activities offered at Algonquin. But with such a new project, problems like these are bound to happen.

“It’s still in its infancy, so where it grows from here is still to be determined,” DeCiero said. “We’re still going through the process of trial and error of what works, how the schedule will work and things like that.”

As for the future of the project, the main goal is to get more students to come to the meetings. More students mean more interaction between peers, which is what the group strives to achieve. They will continue to do multiple art projects throughout this year and hope to resume next year. 

“Even if you’ve never tried art before, come on out, try it, and see if you have a knack for it,” Rutigliano said. “Even if it’s just something that will bring pleasure to your day.”