COVID forced students apart. This Queens high school is using art to bring them back together
When Ryan Horodecki walks into Voyages Preparatory, a transfer high school for students who have fallen behind and are at risk of dropping out, one of the first things he sees is his self portrait.
The lobby of the Elmhurst, Queens, building, a former factory with floor-to-ceiling windows, is lined with portraits students made in the first weeks of school. Horodecki’s hangs within eyeshot of the entrance.
It shows his face split down the middle, with one half wearing a surgical mask, the other uncovered. In the background is the Brooklyn Bridge, representing his home borough.
“I had first-day of school nerves,” he said of the masked photo he used to create his self-portrait. “And then I was a little bit more open, and I decided to take my mask off. And that’s kind of what I wanted to represent inside my photo.”
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