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S.T.A.R., in partnership with The Glass House and the Carriage Barn Center for the Arts presents the 2nd Annual Student Social Justice Art Showcase

All photographs by Jay B. Wilson Photography

S.T.A.R, in partnership with The Glass House New Canaan and Carriage Barn Arts Center, invites you to come meet & learn from professional local artists working to effect change through their art.


All are welcome to participate and take part in individual and collaborative projects related to the theme of the "Through Your Looking Glass" exhibition which features art from over 40 students of all ages from across Fairfield County, plus art from established local artists.

Come be inspired and create alongside these artists: Tara Blackwell, Lauren Clayton, 5ive Fingaz, Brian Kaspr, Julio Pardo, Butch Quick and Jahmane West.

This workshop is free, open to all ages and open to the public. Please register so we have enough art supplies.

First Annual Through Your Looking Glass Social Justice Exhibit
Thank you to New Canaan Historical Society + Museum for generously hosting the exhibition during October4Design.

"Do You Stand with the Oppressed or the Oppressor" Mirror Art

All photographs by Paul Bickford, @PaulBickford_photo

"Do You Stand with the Oppressed or the Oppressor" Mirror Art by Freya Goldenberg

Freya Goldenberg, 11th grade, New Canaan High School

Take a Look



As a white girl, I constantly educate myself in order to maintain my alliance to others. This piece of art is a “check-in point” for me and anyone else that cares to think deeply about their position in a world where social justice is imperative. It may also be a moment of realization that you/we/I are not doing enough or that our morals are in the wrong place.

Olive Goldenberg, 6th grade, Saxe Middle School, New Canaan

Changing the World one Bracelet at a Time

Mixed media


To me, social justice means fighting for what you believe is important and making a difference to help your community. I like to wear my activism, whether it be on my t-shirt, sweater, shoes, jewelry, etc. -- which is what inspired me to make this piece of art. 

How do you show your activism?

Changing the World one Bracelet at a Time by: Olive Goldeneberg
Hoop Dreams by Malik Roberts

Malik Roberts

Hoop Dreams, 2017

48 x 60 in

Acrylic, charcoal and oil on canvas 

Oliver Forrest, 7th grade, Saxe Middle School, New Canaan

One Team, One Dream

Lego Animation/Stop-Motion Video, 1 minute, 30 seconds


This depicts students from different backgrounds and with different reasons to feel like “outsiders,” in school dealing with social injustice, prejudice, and exclusion.

One Team, One Dream By: Oliver Forrest, Lego Animation/Stop-Motion Video

Luca Periera, 12th Grade, New Canaan High School

Broken Equality

Mixed Media


This piece tells the story on the issues trangender people have been struggling with on the medical area. From being insecure and scared to get help from professionals, to even being denied getting medical help, transgender people have struggled. As seen on the left of the piece, there are many estrogen and testosterone pill bottles, which are common hormones taken when going under transition from one gender to another. In the middle white stripe, the word "equality" is broken up and falling down the piece, showing that there is no equality and that we must seek out justice towards trangender individuals. And throughout the art, there is ripped up money scattered everywhere, showing that not only there is a mental side to these issues, but also not being able to afford to get treatment.

Juliana Contadino, 12th grade, Greenwich High School

Untainted Water



My piece connects to social justice because it is modeled after a waterfall and its shape. The fashion industry is the second biggest contributor to pollution in the world behind oil and gas production. The rise in fast-fashion popularity leads to countless amounts of materials and clothes ending up in landfills, damaging ecosystems and ultimately altering our climate. I made a dress from old deadstock fabric that hadn’t been used by its company so, instead of being thrown in the garbage and continue polluting, it was then sent to a fabric store where people like me could buy it and make it into something new. I made a sustainable and wearable representation of the water and ocean before it was touched with pollutants and garbage. Climate change is a big social justice issue that I feel people tend to overlook, and this is a reminder to keep our nature and planet clean and safe for the future.


Alexa Burroughs, 6th grade, Saxe Middle School, New Canaan

All of Us or None of Us

Acrylic paint


My painting is supposed to represent the importance of belonging and remind us that all members of a community benefit from diversity.

Amelia Stainer, 7th grade, Saxe Middle School, New Canaan

Justice on a Face

Digital painting


To me, social justice means fighting for what you believe in and accepting differences between people. I love including social justice in my art and showing how important it is through drawings, paintings, and other types of art.


Cecily Farris and Cecilia Carr, 6th grade,

Saxe Middle School, New Canaan

Peace, 2022

Spray paint


Peace is what unites us all. Without peace we cannot be together.

Cecily Farris and Cecilia Carr, 6th grade, Saxe Middle School, New Canaan 

Heart, 2022 

Spray paint on canvas


This piece shows that even when you’re in a bad mood and if you’re really sad, you can always find happiness somewhere.


Hettie Fillingham, 10th grade, New Canaan High School

I Dissent

Acrylic paint


Women need control over their own bodies. I am frightened that my generation will have less rights than our mothers and this has encouraged me to make this artwork. Sometimes you have to stand up and be counted.

Melvin “Grave” Guzman

Loe-Key, 2021

Acrylic, magnum, mixed media, metal, mica on wood 


Layla Steed, 11th grade, New Canaan High School

Faces in the Crowd

Acrylic paint


The social justice movement itself has core values. However, how you choose to participate and what messages you choose to spread are up to you. This painting starts with four core colors: white, red, yellow, and blue. Those colors started to spread, and over time a mixture of colors started to appear and a piece of art (a community) started to form. This painting represents social justice in that it consists of people from all different backgrounds, ethnicities, and races, who have all come together to fight for something greater than themselves.

Sienna Hopson, 12th grade, Greenwich High School

Tidying His Bedroom



On a recent trip to San Francisco, I noticed a homeless man cleaning up his strewed belongings, just as any person would if their room was messy. People living on the streets are not all that different from us, they just make the most of what they have. They still need to clean up their sloppy rooms and wash their dirty dishes, except they don’t have a dresser to store their clothes and a sink to scrub their silverware. The dehumanization of the homeless population is an issue that has been implemented into our society and we have been conditioned to accept unthinkable living conditions for select individuals.

Lauren Mondschein, 12th Grade,

Greenwich High School

Kayla Perez, 12th grade, Greenwich High School




In our teen years many experience the long journey of self-identity and insecurities. This image I captured and created encapsulates the beauty we can find within ourselves. In a world where we are bombarded with the perfection of social media it becomes increasingly difficult to appreciate uniqueness, individualism, and personal beauty. An issue that generations before have not experienced, it is hard to break away from the screens and understand ourselves for who we are. As we seek social justice as a collective society, it is important that we start with ourselves to build the confidence that is essential for being a caring member of society.

Jose Diaz, 9th grade, Academy of Information Technology Engineering, Stamford

We All Bleed Red

Acrylic paint, markers


My art piece has the hand of a person of color reaching out. We are all humans and bleed the same color. There is no reason why we should hate or discriminate. Instead, we must stand together and that will make us stronger and bring peace to all. 

Chalisse Papen, 12th Grade,

Greenwich High School

Vernon O’Meally

Untitled, 2022

Acrylic, spray paint, neocolor, paint marker, collaged canvas on canvas 

RiseUP for Arts/Stamford Murals

Blaze Your Own Trail Mural - Behind the Scenes

Video 1:49


The Wellbuilt Co. offered a wall at 819 East Main Street in Stamford. Alissa Siegel, assistant artist Anabel Siegal, and youth artists, Bridgette Fabian and Angie Caceres, installed the mural and celebrated with a community block party.


The “Blaze Your Own Trail” mural provides momentum to grow community based public art throughout Stamford, CT. Stamford Murals’ public art program creates paid opportunity for youth and local artists as they bring joyful public art to the city.


The first mural was generously funded by more than 30 individual donors,

with Sustainable CT’s Community Match Fund, and by the CT Office of the Arts, which also receives support from the federal ARPA, and the

Department of Economic and Community Development through an Artists Respond Grant. Generously supported by the Wellbuilt Co.


Melvin “Grave” Guzman

Vin’s 7, 2021

Acrylic, graphite, magnum, silica, mica on canvas 

Lucas Carballo, 12th grade, Greenwich High School

River of Rust



To me, freight trains represent the blue-collar labor force across the country. This shot of a boxcar along a desolate lonely landscape represents how these people are forgotten in society.

Maddie Driscoll, 12th grade, Greenwich High School

Words We Read



Books are being censored and banned all across the country, and whether or not their contents prove offensive to some, it is important that all types of literature are available, thus cultivating one’s ability to distinguish right from wrong, come up with their own ideas, and most importantly learn to think for themselves.

Zeehan Wazed

Self Realization, 2021

Oil, paint, markers 


A moment in which we find ourselves in this world. 

Cecily Farris and Cecilia Carr, 6th grade, Saxe Middle School, New Canaan

Broken Home, 2022

Spray paint, mixed media

If everyone keeps polluting the Earth and not picking up trash, this is how the Earth will look (on left side). If people help keep the planet clean, then the Earth will look clean and healthy.

Charlotte Beecher, 11th grade, New Canaan High School

Fist of Fury

Graphite on paper


This is a sketch that is representative of the recent events involving race in our society. The fist is representative of the Black Lives Matter fist, and inside the fist is a scene inspired by a Black Lives Matter protest I attended. The backdrop is words that came to mind when I thought of social justice.

Ava Pertusiello, 11th grade, New Canaan High School

Dear Alice,

Poster board with photography/drawing


The social justice theme for my art piece is how society's toxic stigmas and widely adopted oppression of certain groups of people (race, sexuality, or a mental/physical disability, etc.) can severely damage an individual’s social mobility and skew their personal identity. The poem I wrote at the bottom corresponds with the photos in my drawing and details from Alice Through the Looking Glass. Alice is supposed to represent an individual who feels like they are confined in the corner of a room, and are not allowed to move between tables or switch their seat (representing their confinement to one place/role in society, and struggle to break free of social constraints), which keeps them systematically silenced. The message being portrayed through the far-right photo and the letter to Alice at the bottom is that if you choose to ignore the harsh outside perceptions that society pins on you, and only focus on your inner truth, then you will be able to become transparent, and find the ability to walk through “walls” (social boundaries). However, if you focus too much on the reflections of the world all around you, the ability to walk across boundaries ceases because you are now unable to distinguish what is true about yourself, and what is a false perception fueled by outside judgment. Staying true to who you are is the only way to push past your “assigned corner” and pursue the rest of the world. The character Alice embodies this theme because she navigates the upside-down world by staying grounded to reality and true to herself. Even through all her hardships and being pulled into all different directions, she does not allow herself to get lost/drowned out by the chaos.

Elena Dashi, 12th grade, New Canaan High School




This piece illustrates the grave disparities in our world today. Whilst the U.S. and other western developed countries face the hardship of providing affordable period products, in eastern countries periods in and of themselves are regarded as so taboo to the point where a woman is forced to spend her cycle locked up in a shed away from the men of her family. She is deemed “impure” and treated like a filthy animal as opposed to a human. This is highlighted in the article “Why India must battle the shame of period stain,” which served as the reference for the first woman depicted in the piece and the inspiration behind the overall message of this piece. This piece was created to shed a light on said beliefs and advocate for change. The two women are not different. Both are 30-year-old women who get periods and live on this planet. The difference is how their societies reactions to this fact.

Valentina Rivano, 12th grade, Greenwich High School

The Destruction from within the Fashion Industry



My photo inquiry explores how the fashion industry impairs the environment, and how can we fix it. The fashion industry is constantly evolving, with the growth of fast fashion Earth is in danger. Therefore, how can art show this? How can awareness be spread? By displaying how fashion can harm the environment and what can be done to fix it in a creative way, the truth can be exposed in a glamorous way that still teaches. Trouble in the fashion industry is not supposed to be romanticized, but maybe the best way to evoke the importance of this issue is by glamorizing art that exposes it.

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