CEPA Gallery is proud to announce the purchase of fourteen student artworks by the Art Committee of the Roswell Park Cancer Center Alliance. The students—six 4th graders from CEPA’s after-school and in-school arts education programs at Highgate Heights Elementary in Buffalo and eight 7th graders from CEPA’s Abstract Photography class at Queen of Heaven School in West Seneca—will each receive awards of $75.00 from Roswell, in addition to the honor of being selected by the Art Committee for inclusion in the permanent art collection of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Roswell’s long-standing program of acquiring and exhibiting fine art demonstrates a commitment to enhance quality of life for patients and families visiting the Institute. The fourteen photographs are vibrant 16 by 20-inch color digital prints, selected from hundreds of images created during CEPA Gallery’s award-winning arts education programs from 2014-2015. The students will be honored in award ceremonies with CEPA Gallery Education Director, Lauren Tent at Highgate Heights Elementary on May 20th and at Queen of Heaven School on May 21st.

Anthony Billoni of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute said, “We are pleased that our Art Committee is able to showcase the work of WNY’s youngest art makers. Thanks to CEPA Gallery, which opened the door to its student’s creativity, our patients will have this art to experience as part of their time at Roswell.” Billoni, who is Director of the Erie-Niagara Tobacco-Free Coalition at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, worked with other members of the Committee on the selection process, including Debra Miga, Volunteer Services Administrator at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, and Art Committee members Claire Schneider (Founder of C.S.1 Curatorial Projects) and Cheryl Orlick.

Kari Achatz, the art teacher who invited CEPA to partner with Queen of Heaven School said, “Working with CEPA was an amazing experience for the students at Queen of Heaven. Experiences like this show students that art extends beyond the classroom and allow them to become active participants in the arts from a young age. I am so proud of my students and the happiness their art will bring to members of our local community for many years to come.” Queen of Heaven Principal, Mary Damico added, “It is our mission to educate the whole child and to foster student confidence and an understanding of the world around them. We were so pleased Mrs. Achatz’s 7th grade art class partnered with CEPA to explore the art of digital photography. We are equally honored Roswell will be purchasing our students’ work.”

Lauren Tent, Education Director of CEPA Gallery said, “We have seen many times how life changing it can be for a young person’s creativity to be noticed and celebrated. We are thankful to Roswell for recognizing the stunning work by these young photographers.” Sean Donaher, Executive Director and Curator of CEPA Gallery added, “CEPA’s Art Education programs empower students to tap their inherent creativity to produce truly meaningful works of art. The fact that so many of these artworks are finding a home in Roswell Park Cancer Institute’s collection is a testament to the ability of these young artists and to the effectiveness of CEPA’s programs.”

For over 20 years, CEPA Gallery has partnered with Western New York educators and artists to provide schools with a broad array of short and long-term arts education enrichment programs. Serving hundreds of children each year, CEPA’s arts education programs combine photography, literary arts, and technology and are designed to integrate with and enhance grade level curriculum. The demonstrative power and impact of CEPA’s programs were recently recognized with a 2013 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award. Administered by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities and presented to CEPA by First Lady Michelle Obama during a White House ceremony in November 2013, this award is our nation’s highest recognition for Arts Education programming. CEPA has provided arts education programming to students of Highgate Heights Elementary for twelve years, and began working with Queen of Heaven School in the Fall of 2014.

About CEPA Gallery
Founded in 1974, CEPA is celebrating its 40th anniversary season as Western New York’s only center for contemporary photo-related art. Located in Buffalo’s historic Theater District, CEPA has evolved from a small presenting venue into a full service arts center with an international presence. It has extensive experience curating major professional exhibitions, commissioning new projects, and promoting the work of important, often under-recognized artists. CEPA’s recent merger with Big Orbit Gallery has expanded the context and interpretation of its mission-related focus on contemporary photography, to include Big Orbit’s penchant towards visual art, new media, sound, and installation art. Together, CEPA and Big Orbit will continue their shared commitment to servicing artists and the artistic practice, to engaging audiences with exhibitions of interest, and to informing the larger not-for-profit cultural field as to what’s groundbreaking in the visual arts. In addition to visual arts programming, CEPA’s growing, award-winning Education Program engages hundreds of children and adults each year with programs focused on traditional darkroom, digital arts, and technology. For more information about CEPA Gallery, visit or call 716-856-2717.

About the Roswell Park Cancer Institute
The mission of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1898, RPCI is one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or email

Photo by Jennifer Rivera, 4th grade, Highgate Heights Elementary
Photo by Sara Wingard, 4th grade, Highgate Heights Elementary
Photo by Shannon Stachowski, 7th grade, Queen of Heaven Elementary
Photo by Jahmir Jones, 4th grade, Highgate Heights Elementary
Queen of Heaven students receive awards during celebration at school
Highgate Heights student Sara Wingard and family at award celebration
Lauren Tent