Eighth-grader Tatyana Geneste jumped at the chance to take part in the community outreach workshop at the Fernando Luis Alvarez Gallery in Stamford. A group of students from Trailblazers Academy was assembled to create artwork inspired by the solo exhibit by Stamford artist Robert Wilson.

“I love art, actually,” said Tatyana, 13. "I always paint stuff, and I always make things for my teacher to hang in her room. I thought it would be fun to participate.” Before the exhibit opened, youngsters toured the gallery and became familiar with Wilson’s work. They selected the ones they liked, then chose one to interpret and reproduce. The results were put in a window display announcing the exhibit's opening.

The workshop was centered on art. But it served another purpose for owner Fernando Alvarez, who has had the Stamford gallery a little more than a year. “We’re an art gallery, but we’re really about building a community and doing our best at community outreach,” he says.

Tatyana decided to make a weather statement and create with bright colors “since it’s so dreary outside.” At the Feb. 11 opening reception, she asked Wilson to autograph her artwork.

Other young gallery visitors, who did not participate in the workshop, voiced their admiration for Wilson’s work. “I find Mr. Wilson’s work very creative,” said Nicole Rojas, 14, of Norwalk.

Isabelle Andrews, 12, of Fairfield, said, “I like the kind of a puzzle he gives you with what you see.”

Trinity Catholic School student Lua Tomarelli-Lu, 14, creates manga Japanese cartoons. She said Wilson and his work have inspired her to pursue her artistic goals. “I wish for that to be my profession,” she said.

Who inspired you to think creatively as a youngster?