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Art, the Universal Language | Abegail's Story

Updated: Nov 16, 2021

Abegail Naranjo with Cathy Gatchel, Tod Minnich of Honeywell Arts & Entertainment

“When I don’t have the words to tell them how I feel, they can see it in my art.”

Abegail Naranjo is a new student at Northfield High School (NHS) and an award winner in Honeywell's 2021 Student Banner Competition. English is Abegail's second language, which, her teacher shared, can sometimes present obstacles.

“The language barrier has caused Abegail to appear shy and she does not talk a lot throughout her school day,” says NHS Art Teacher Mr. Zwiebel, “It has also been brought to my attention that there were social disadvantages and additional hardships at her last school due the language barrier and the accent she has when speaking English. The visual arts, both the displaying of and creating, are Abegail's outlet. Abegail's artwork has no language barriers and speaks volumes.”

Artwork by Abegail Naranjo

“I know what I’m doing when I draw and I feel connected to the beauty of it,” says Abegail, “My art helps me relate to people when they try to understand me. When I don’t have the words to tell them how I feel, they can see it in my art. When I feel sad, my art takes me into my own world and makes me feel happier. I use my drawing and painting skills and other forms of art to express my feelings that I have difficulty putting into words. Sometimes other people ask me to make a picture for them and I try to make them happy through my art.”

Abegail was named the winner of the Bob McCallen Award in the 2021 Student Banner Competition (artwork pictured).

Abegail Naranjo (12th grade, NHS) with the McCallen Family | 2021 Student Banner Awards Ceremony

About the Bob McCallen Award

Eighteen years ago, Bob and Peggy McCallen had a vision for the banner competition to be a platform to lift up young artists and let them know how special they are. In memory of Bob McCallen, one student is selected from those nominated by their art teachers for this award recognizing the impact of the program.

You Make it Possible

Student Banner Competitions are part of Honeywell Arts in Education, serving students in more than 15 Indiana counties each year with arts-infused learning experiences. Made possible by donor support, Honeywell education programs create opportunities for students like Abegail to learn, grow, and express themselves through the arts every day.

Want to be part of this exciting work? Learn more about how you can make a difference by supporting Honeywell!


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