A collaborative painting by Matt SaGurney and students from Kenmore East High School is on view in the exhibition “Healing Hearts: From Hurt to Hope” in the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.
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Bullies, as area students are all too aware, are capable of sending their victims to incredibly dark places. What hope those victims have of escaping that emotional trauma and coming back into the light is often tied directly to the therapeutic effects of self-expression. That is to say, art.

This is one of the motivating ideas behind “Healing Hearts: From Hurt to Hope,” an exhibition by high school students that takes a stand against bullying. The show, which hangs through Sept. 29 in the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s education corridor, includes work by students in kindergarten through 12th grade from schools across Western New York. It was conceived by local art teachers Kelly and Rich Tomasello, who enlisted more than a dozen of their colleagues to add to the project.

At 10:30 a.m. next Thursday, the Albright-Knox (1285 Elmwood Ave.) will host an event in conjunction with the exhibition. It will feature a presentation from the family of Jamey Rodemeyer, who committed suicide in 2011 after relentless bullying from his fellow students at Williamsville North High School. The event also will include a musical performance by City Honors School students and a theater piece in which Starpoint High School students will silently act out anti-bullying scenes to classical music.

The presentation is free. Call 882-8700 or visit www.albrightknox.org.

– Colin Dabkowski

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