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For the past nine years, the Student Celebration of the Visual Arts (SCVA) has reflected the creative and artistic minds of students throughout Western New York. This year's show was held last weekend at the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts.

The show featured more than 500 pieces of artwork from 36 different schools, as well as performing music groups from Williamsville North and City Honors high schools. All media of visual art were used, from photography and 3-D sculpture to silk-screen and oil pastel. The goal of SCVA has been "to bring as many Western New York schools together through the art department in grades kindergarten through college," according to Brad Curcio, founder and organizer of SCVA.

The atrium at the Center for the Arts was filled with students, friends, family and community members from throughout Western New York who were all excited to see the artwork on display.

Volunteers judged the artwork for four different awards: the SCVA Award, the Borders Award, the Hyatt Award and the Delaware Camera Award.

The overall winners are: Geoffery Ratin (Canisius High School); Jenna Klossner (Williamsville North High School) and Angelica Mammoliti (Williamsville East High School).

The winners of the Borders Award are: Allison Daigler (Hoover Middle School); Johanna Allen (Lindberg Elementary School); Marissa Contangelo (Spruce Elementary); Ryan Dileo (Hoover Middle School); Rene Benoit (Frederick Law Olmsted High School); Marina Diello (Eden School District); Emily Gendrue (Barker Central School District); Ashley Kim (Heim Elementary School); Aidan O'Neill (Country Parkway Elementary School); Elijah Winston (International School No. 45); Lindsey Jones (Lindbergh Elementary School); Natalie Hazzan (Heim Middle School); Victoria Chilcott (Dodge Elementary School); Taylor Stuewe (Williamsville North High School); Kendall Grapes (Williamsville North High School); Caroline Wong (Casey Middle School) and Melanie Tunkey (Casey Middle School).

Also, Alicia Hyland (Heim Middle School); Joel Centeno (Heim Middle School); Scarlet Chung (Williamsville South High School); Jenna Strozewski (Dodge Elementary School); Daya Iyer (Heim Elementary School); Lydia Suiaiman (Transit Middle School); Erikka Arno (Transit Middle School); Sarah Ostrowski (Transit Middle School); Nicole Xu (Country Parkway Elementary School); Alexander Simet (Country Parkway Elementary School); Diana Alekeyeua (Country Parkway Elementary School); Madelyn Lemay (Forest Elementary School); Lauren Smithers (Forest Elementary School); Danielle Reding (Williamsville East High School); Jonathan D. (Wilson High School); Adam Curcio (Casey Middle School); Andrea Billias (Heim Elementary School); and Renee Farley (Wilson High School).

The winners of the Hyatt Award are: Joe Evans (St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute); Alyssa Koons (Sweet Home School District); Kayle Cassel (Heim Middle School); and Zoe Zecher (Lancaster High School).

The winners of the Delaware Camera Award are: Allison Corretore (Williamsville North High School); Eddie Tomaselli (Kenmore West High School); Derrick Kessler (Lancaster High School); and Starr Pane (Sweet Home High School).

Many students were simply thrilled to be a part of the show, even if they didn't win an award.

"It's the first time my art's been on display," said Joe Goergen, a student at St. Joe's.

Joe also commented on how important art is in his life.

"I do [art] every day. It's something I want to think about as a career. It's fun," he said.

Taylor Brown, a student at Williamsville North, described herself as a "self-proclaimed photo nerd" and explained how she "enjoys taking out a camera and seeing things from a different angle."

This show allowed Taylor and hundreds of others to do just that.

For some students, SCVA allows them to relate more to things such as music and literature. "[Art] takes my experience to the next level. I listen to music and get inspired," said Jenny Wess, a student at Williamsville North High School.

Many elementary schoolchildren enjoy SCVA as well, as it is a way for them to become more involved in visual arts.

"It inspires me," said Heim Elementary student Daya Iyer, a Borders Award recipient.

SCVA inspires students to think and express themselves through visual arts, in a way that goes beyond their normal school day routine. The goals of the Student Celebration of the Visual Arts were certainly met, as hundreds of students from all over Western New York were brought together through their art.

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Emily DeRoo is a sophomore at Williamsville North High School.