The Power of Expression – From the NRG Editorial Voices Blog
We are thrilled to have YA program alumni and YA Advisory Committee Member Lorenzo DiAndrea, a SAORI weaving and silkscreen monoprint artist highlighted on YA pARTner, NRG’s blog highlighted below.
Lorenzo’s artwork will be exhibited at NRG until January 10th and proceeds from sales of his joyful, colorful, and authentic expressions will benefit Young Audiences. To learn more email YA Director of Institutional Advancement, Ann Betterton at [email protected].
THE POWER OF EXPRESSION
By Peter Johnson
Originally Published on September 10, 2019 by NRG Editorial Voices
One of the unique features of our Princeton campus is that we feature artwork by local artists on our walls in six-month rotations. One artist currently featured on our walls is Lorenzo DiAndrea, a SAORI weaving and silkscreen monoprint artist, who produces work under the simple alias of “Lorenzo.” At 23 years old, this resident of Central New Jersey has recently been selected as one of the 2019 VSA Emerging Young Artists by the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. This highly prestigious award recognizes and showcases exceptional work of emerging young artists with disabilities. As an awardee, Lorenzo will travel to Washington, D.C. for an all-expenses-paid, multi-day professional development arts workshop with the other 14 artists chosen from all over the nation. His selected silkscreen monoprints will then travel the country for two years as part of the VSA “Connected” national exhibition.
We are immensely proud to feature an award-winning artist in our building. Lorenzo’s use of color in his silkscreen monoprint paintings and woven tapestries is truly remarkable and multi-layered; his work could easily be displayed in professional exhibits. And as an artist with a disability, Lorenzo utilizes his art to express himself in a way that verbal communication doesn’t wholly afford him. Lorenzo’s artwork came to NRG through the organization Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania, for which I serve as Secretary of the Board.
The mission of Young Audiences is to inspire young people and expand their learning through the arts. This is done through providing exposure to the arts and educational opportunities through the arts to as many children as possible. Lorenzo was first involved with Young Audiences in 2014, through a grant from Autism Speaks, which provided professional learning for teachers and artists to help them understand how to better work with individuals on the autism spectrum.
As a business management and theater major in college, I’ve been passionate about the arts since I was a young adult. All of my children are involved in the arts in some fashion, whether it’s theater, singing, or painting. I feel strongly about the arts and arts education because it provides an outlet for people to express themselves and increase their sense of confidence and creativity, which is critical for young people.
One of NRG’s Power Values is Diversity & Inclusion. But diversity isn’t just about differences between people that we can see; it’s also about different ways of thinking. I would argue that the arts play a key role in developing the kind of talent that businesses need: people who can bring unique and creative perspectives to the problems we have to solve.
Lorenzo’s exhibition in our NRG office brings things full circle for me. It was because of NRG that I was connected to Young Audiences — a former NRG leader who served on the board introduced me to the organization. Lorenzo and his artwork exhibit the kind of diverse talents, experiences, and viewpoints that are needed to drive NRG, and our society as a whole, to a sustainable energy future.