Pasadena Teen's Winning Artwork on Display at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C.

Published : Saturday, December 16, 2017 | 4:52 AM

Walking into the Light

Photo Courtesy of DoED Studio

“Walking into the Light,” an art piece by Carissa Paccerelli, has been selected as one of this year’s winning artworks at the 2017 VSA Art Exhibit. It will be on display at the U.S. Department of Education (ED) headquarters in Washington, D.C. through December.

This year’s theme is UBUNTU: Yo Soy…Je Suis…I Am…Because You Are. A South African concept, Ubuntu, means “human-ness” or “humanity towards others.” Colloquially, this philosophy translates to “I am because you are. My humanity is connected to yours.”

The art exhibit, which opened last month, is a joint project of ED and VSA, a Jean Kennedy Smith Arts and Disability Program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. It showcases artwork of student artists from the United States and around the globe. There are 17 student artists participating in this exhibit – nine from the United States and eight from Argentina, Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore.

“I’m excited to be one of the artists selected from the U.S. and the only one from California. Growing up, it has been a challenge for me to speak up and connect to people. Painting and drawing helped me express my feelings and gain friends who understand my disability,” said Carissa.

Carissa has been drawing since she was a toddler, but her art talent became evident at age three. Before she was verbally communicating, she was already drawing and expressing herself through art. At age six, she was diagnosed on the autism spectrum. She currently attends the Visual Arts & Design Academy at Pasadena High School.

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