Youth Art Month: BBHS students showcase their artistic talents at the county and state level

The Council for Art Education (CFAE) hosts Youth Art Month every year to encourage, support and promote quality art education programs. At the state level, the Art Educators of New Jersey (AENJ) host individual county shows, in addition to a collective state exhibit, to celebrate the arts and promote the importance of art education to local communities. 

Several students from Bound Brook High School (BBHS) were selected, including artwork from juniors Valentina Aleman and Marissa Hays at the county level and artwork from senior Denys Lelyanov at the state level.  

Read more about these talented artists:

Denys Lelyanov  

Senior Denys Lelyanov created his artwork as a cover for the Elysium Magazine, the school magazine at Bound Brook High School. Using a graphite pencil, Denys centered his art piece around the theme of human experience to illustrate it with a black and white medium.  

“I tried to think of the human experience,” Denys said. “I’m from Ukraine, so I tried to convey the experience people have over there for the magazine cover.” 

Sparked by his love for video games, Denys is interested in pursuing art as a career, specifically in concept design for video game studios. He will be choosing a college to pursue that career path this spring.  

Denys became one of the top 70 student artists selected by AENJ for the statewide Youth Art Month exhibition, which took place at the Grounds for Sculpture Museum from late February until late March.  


Valentina Aleman 

Valentina Aleman, a junior at BBHS, was one of 22 BBHS students whose artwork was selected to be featured in the Somerset County Youth Art Month show. 

“To create variation, I made six different strawberries from different focal points to illustrate the various ways you can draw a strawberry,” she said.  

Valentina emphasized the support from her art teachers, Ms. Levering and Ms. Zybura, who continue to help ignite her passion and interest for art. It’s especially important to her as she aims to pursue graphic design as a future career.  

Marissa Hays 

Junior Marissa Hays celebrated her appreciation for art by depicting pickles in various colors, which was also chosen to be showcased at the Somerset County Youth Art Month show. She noted the difficulty in first drawing them but became excited to see how her efforts turned out to be a great result.  

“I drew pickles first and then painted on top of them to represent four different color schemes,” she explained. The artwork allowed her to use color variation to create visual interest, utilizing the color wheel taught to her in art class.  

While Marissa plans to pursue nursing as a career, she loves to engage in art as a hobby. She especially enjoys painting to make use of shading and the colors available at her disposal. 



All three students acknowledged the importance of Youth Art Month and the opportunities it grants to young artists who want to explore art and showcase their creativity.  

Way to go, Crusaders! 

BBHS is delighted to share all students who were chosen to be featured in the Somerset County Youth Art Month show, hosted by the Manville Public Library:  

Grade 9 

  • Diego Orlando Alvarenga Cruz 
  • Haley Perez Felipe 
  • Jadyn Marold 
  • Allison Mora 

Grade 10 

  • Melanie Garcia Bautista 
  • Krysta Chaves 
  • Angie Cano Lopez 
  • Katherine Lopez 
  • Rosie Malpartida Oriol 
  • Kylie Win 
  • Timothy Varshavskyi 

Grade 11 

  • Valentina Aleman 
  • Emma Baker 
  • Faobricio Garita 
  • Marissa Hays 
  • Steven Quiros 
  • Mariana Velasquez 

Grade 12 

  • Ellana Landers 
  • Jasmine Leiva 
  • Valerine Lopez Alfaro 
  • Mariangelis Mitchell Vargas 
  • Norelvi Navarrete Menjivar 

A big congratulations to Denys Lelyanov for his artwork being featured in the state Youth Art Month show!