Bronx Students Unveil Public Art Installation

Students at Accion Academy use art to speak out on community issues.

Students from Accion Academy in the Bronx unveiled a new piece of public art in Crotona Park. The piece, a painted lunchroom table, was created through LeAp (Learning Through an Expanded Arts Program).

The piece was a part of LeAp's fourth annual citywide student exhibition entitled A View From The Lunch Room; Students Bringing Issues To The Table.

This year's edition of the exhibition has been billed as the largest student art exhibition in the history of the New York City Parks Department and also the first of its kind to span all five boroughs.

Several notable artists including Julian Schnabel and Milton Glaser participated as guest artists in the program. They met and discussed with students the merits of public art.

The students from Accion Academy addressed several different issues like violence in the community, love, and trust. The director of LeAp's Public Art Program Alexandra Leff said that it's necessary for kids to talk about the issues, "this community needs these kinds of resources, there's a lot of violence in these neighborhoods, so for kids to be addressing these issues, it's important."

"They're going to notice all the inspiring words that are on it, like peace, love, happiness, you know it's basically just about happiness." said Jon-Paul Ruiz, a student at Accion.

When asked if he would bring his friends and family to Crotona, he laughed and said "all the time, all the time. I'm going to bring my brothers, sisters, and we're going to have a great time here."

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