Area artist brings inspiration to life

Painter stands on stage with his back to the audience

Herkimer Elementary students were treated to an inspiring presentation on Monday as speed painter Tom Varano brought his “Emotion Into Art” program to the school.

Video: Emotion Into Art

When Varano’s presentation began, three large blank pieces of black paper hung behind him. In no time at all, Varano had filled each canvas with vivid, color-splattered portraits.

As Varano quickly dabbed white paint onto the black paper, loud music blared from speakers on the stage, and students watched attentively. As his first canvas took shape and the face of Martin Luther King Jr. was revealed, students gasped and cheered.

“Anybody can have a dream,” Varano told students, “but we celebrate the passion behind his dream.”

In between painting two more portraits — of the Statue of Liberty, and Mufasa from “The Lion King” — Varano offered words of wisdom and inspiration to the students, encouraging them to work hard in school, to be generous to others, and to follow their dreams.

See more from Varano’s presentation on the district’s Facebook page.