Raw Art Works block party draws eclectic, artistic crowd

The RAWArt Works block party on Thursday drew a big crowd. (Owen O'Rourke)

LYNN — Raw Art Works is a perfect place for young artists such as Elizabeth Matsicko to express themselves through their art.

“I love attention,” the KIPP Academy High School junior said. “Whether it’s music, theater, or something different, sharing my art is always something I’ve loved doing.”

She got a chance to show of some of her latest work at the Raw Arts Works block party and opening of its annual gallery called “eleMEnts.”

The gallery featured 150 pieces of art from artists ages 7 to 19 who participate in programs at RAW.

Matsicko’s art portrayed two sketches of herself clutching a crystal ball and transferring energy, represented by purple circles, to one another’s heart and mind.

“The object represents my daily struggles,” she said. “I’ve struggled making decisions about the future. When I try to make decisions where everything goes through my brain and not my heart.”

Nearby, Turner White, 12, was showing off a piece of art of himself and a group called Boyz Lync.

The massive piece resembled a plinko game that paper coins could be dropped into. Four elements, earth, fire, air, and water, divided the board into four sections and drawings portrayed emotions associated with those elements.

“For me air represents fun, but also on the negative side procrastination,” White said.

Outside the gallery the streets were alive with music while kids decorated the streets with their own chalk-drawn masterpieces.

RAW’s clinical supervisor Jason Cruz said that he is proud of the young artists beyond words.

“For 23 years I’ve been able to see RAW kids grow,” he said. “I can’t describe it in words, they’re a blessing to us and Lynn.”

After the gallery viewing and block party, scholarships were awarded to RAW seniors who also received a hoodie adorned with the organization’s logo.

Winners included Lizzy Embid, who received the Mary Alice Flannery Memorial Scholarship, and Roberto Stephen Rojas and Gregory Aragon Ochoa, both receiving the Ralph Hoyte Shining Star Achievement Award. Rojas also received a scholarship from the RAW Alumni Council.

RAW also honored its founder Mary Flannery, who is stepping down from a leadership position at the end of the season.

“These people work so hard loving all of us,” Flannery said. “It is all about the love.”

“How many people can say they’ve spent 30 years riding the love bus? Sometimes I get to drive it. Sometimes I’m sitting in the back eating way too many Cheez-its,” she said. “What an unbelievable ride this has been.”

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