“BOCES is the best-kept secret in Westchester,” says Center for Career Service’s commercial arts teacher Damian Powers in acknowledging that the SWBOCES Valhalla campus is overshadowed by neighbors Westchester Medical Center, Westchester Community College, and New York School for the Deaf. “They all have directional signs. We don’t.”
Part of that “secret” will be revealed Thursday, March 28, when the Library’s second-floor art gallery displays works from Powers’ students. “My students are excited about the opportunity given by the Library and ‘Edge’ director Erik Carlson, and visitors will see an array of creativity,” says Powers. “Everything that they produce is a reflection of their creativity. They use the computer as another paintbrush or pencil. The computer is just another tool for them to create in the technological society we live in today.”
Pictured is art from Asia O’kane, a senior in the Commercial Arts Program.
Since 1948, New York State BOCES 37 facilities have provided career training to high school students in various trades. “It’s a huge success story in 2019 with unemployment low and demand high,” says Powers, who has taught at BOCES for fourteen years. “My students have gone on to such colleges as Pratt Institute and SUNY Purchase, School of Visual Arts and to good jobs from there.”
His class reflects a “microcosm of Westchester, and a real world work environment. The students are very diverse. The one common trait is that they are very motivated, creative, and most want to be in a class that they love.”
The formal opening of the Library’s BOCES exhibit is Monday, April 1 at 12:00 p.m., and it runs through Monday, April 22.