After School Matters Participants Showcase their Artwork at Gallery 37

By: Carlos Acevedo

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - BusinessTeens participating in the various After School Matters (ASM) programs gathered at Gallery 37 Center for the Arts in downtown Chicago last Saturday to showcase their work in the Spring 2013 Gallery Walk.

Students, families, and supporters came from across the city to support the ASM participants as they displayed some of their best artwork at Gallery 37. Among the many works on display were handmade crafts, glassworks, puppets, hats, soaps, woodcarvings, jewelry and paintings depicting city life.

To keep the guests fed and hydrated as they walked through five levels of art, the culinary arts program cooked and served delicious hors d’oeuvres, lemonade and desserts.

With hopes of making their programs more accessible to highs schools students in Chicago, ASM also partners with community based organizations to offer more variety and opportunities.

Rubi Nogueron, now a senior at Lake View High School was accepted in the ASM program her sophomore year. Prior to joining ASM, Nogueron had already been exposed to art of painting.

“I learned how to paint at a place called Rico’s near Irving Park and Cicero. They’re amazing. I wasn’t too interested at first but the more I did it, the more interested I became. My dad would also take me along to his job sites and I helped him paint walls,” said Nogueron.

Nogueron found out about ASM through a teacher who spoke to her class about the different programs and jobs that were available to the students. Her immediate interest motivated her to prepare her portfolio and apply to three different programs.

“I was very excited and intimidated at the same time, but I was able to remain focused and eventually interviewed for printmaking, advanced drawing and painting, and painting on canvas,” said Nogueron.

Remembering how shy she was when first accepted into the program, Nogueron said she is proud of how much she has learned and how confident she has become.

“I was very shy because I didn’t like new places. I used to get nervous when stepping out of my comfort zone but since I began participating in this program, I have learned to talk to people a lot more. I learned how to speak more professionally because there is a difference between speaking to your friends and speaking to your boss or coworkers. I also became more motivated to be better at what I do,” said Nogueron.

Crediting ASM for helping her develop “tough skin” to take criticism, Nogueron said she is no longer afraid to ask for advice.

“I have also received assistance in writing my resumes, preparing my portfolios and college research. This program just really brought me out of my shell and challenged me to experiment a lot more,” said Nogueron.
When asked what advice she would offer to students interested in ASM, Nogueron said, “Definitely join the program. I think it’s a really good choice to participate in ASM, especially if you’re really committed to your artwork and want to challenge yourself to be better. Even if you don’t know how to paint, don’t worry because they’ll teach you here. My advice is to just have fun and don’t over think anything because you will develop your own style.”

After graduation, Nogueron plans to attend Monmouth College.

ASM is a non-profit organization that provides teenagers from Chicago high schools opportunities to develop their talents in arts, communications, science, sports and technology.

Students interested in participating in the ASM programs can find more information visiting The summer programs will begin on July 1.

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