Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Visual Arts

First Advisor

Walter Hatke




portraits, children, special needs, developing countries


I am painting portraits of children who are born out of extenuating circumstances. These are children who are slaves, child laborers, child soldiers, children with Down syndrome or autism, hungry children, children of extreme poverty. I am painting the faces of these children in order to expose our common ground. These are kids throughout the world who have never deserved the lives they were given. Exposing them and getting their faces out there for as many people to see will encourage more people to offer their support. I have traveled a lot, and to many developing countries, which has allowed me to see and interact with children of this sort. I have also been exposed to children born into difficult situations in our own country. Since I was a child, I was always pushed to be inclusive of everyone. My mom works with special needs kids and I grew up surrounded by the idea that "people are people" and that all people play an important role. This led me to work with special needs campers at my childhood sleep away camp, I continued my work with special needs children in college by joining Union College's Best Buddies program my freshman year. I remained very active in this program, with my involvement earning me a place on the executive board of the club during my sophomore year. I am painting children with Down syndrome and autism: all of whom I have worked with on a personal level. As for the children of extreme poverty, sex slaves, child soldiers, etc., most of these are from my own photography, my own personal encounters. However, some are also from other people I know who have encountered these children on their own travels and experiences. The process of my painting is twofold: I am first drawing these children in black micron pen and then painting them in watercolor. This allows them to have an illustration feel, which is done to demonstrate these children in their innocent and light manner.