By Ginger DeShaney

  • “Art is amazing,” said Erica Bayliss, age 10.
  • “Art lets you express your feelings,” said Sean O’Keefe, 11. 
  • “It’s kind of a fun way to relax,” said Nolan Brennan, 14.
  • “I love it. I’ve drawn my whole life,” said Kay’ary King, 10.

These were the answers to the question: What do you like about art? South Boston Online sat down for a Zoom call with these four artists from the Edgerley Family South Boston Boys & Girls Club and the Club’s Arts Director, Anne Gordon.

“They’ve really blossomed this year because they’ve been able to devote so much time to their art,” said Anne, who is retiring this summer. “They’ve really done some great work.”

The three younger kids are in Anne’s after-school cohort; Nolan is a member of the Teen Center, and they all love art. 

“The reason art is really special to me,” said Nolan, “is that no matter what you do in art, even if you make a mistake, you always have a chance to fix anything you don’t like about it. Whereas not necessarily the world can fix everything. You can always try to make amends with any of your problems but you can’t always fix them, whereas in art you always have an opportunity to fix whatever you don’t like about it.” 

Said Sean, “Art is special to me because sometimes it can make a change in the world and that’s why I like it. Pictures can make more people realize what they are doing is wrong.”

Erica, who attends St. Peter’s and has been drawing since she was 2 or 3 years old, enjoys making art for others. She has created posters about saving the world and caring about the planet, so she’s interested in that aspect of art. 

“The reason I feel art is important to them,” said Anne, “is they may not all go on to become artists, but … whatever fields they go into, it’s important to be creative. To be able to think up new ideas, think for themselves, they are all learning that along the way.

“You can express yourself through the arts; you never run out of things to do, you’re always busy, you have projects galore,” said Anne. “It touches something inside that makes you feel good about being able to produce artwork.”

The kids were excited to share their creations. 

Erica’s BonBon puppet and wall hanging were inspired by the game “Five Nights at Freddy’s.” 

Sean, who attends the Condon School, is inspired by movies and TV shows he likes. “I really like to draw,” he said. He’s also gotten more into anime. Sean said he went from stick figures to adding more detail. 

“They are all at an age where they would want their artwork to be more realistic,” Anne said. “They take inspiration from the games they play or the shows and movies they watch.” 

Kay’ary, a student at the Perry School, drew a dragon and a little figure from a video game the kids all play. He also did an abstract black and gold piece. He also likes to create figures out of pipe cleaners.

Nolan, who attends the Perry School, put his fine motor skills to work by painting tiny figurines that will be used in Dungeons and Dragons in the Teen Center. Some of the miniatures represent characters in the game. 

“They’re improving their skills all the time,” said Anne, who is grateful for her assistant, Jennifer Sheehan, who was integral in helping the members with their projects. “Drawing is all about practice. We sometimes give them hints or direction or encouragement to try something new. It mostly comes from the kids themselves.

“They’ve all been drawing ever since they were little and they are all good at it,” Anne said. 

“I love these kids,” Anne continued. “They’re all really well-rounded kids and that’s a good quality to have.”

Erica Bayliss’ BonBon puppet and wall hanging were inspired by the game “Five Nights at Freddy’s.”


Nolan Brennan employed great attention to detail to paint these tiny Dungeons and Dragons figurines.


As Sean O’Keefe gets older, his artwork becomes more detailed.


Kay’ary King displays his wide-ranging artistic skills, including a black and gold abstract piece.


Sean O’Keefe shows off his perler bead SuperHero collection.


Erica Bayliss tries her hand at making pottery.