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Student Stories

Hear from Al Liu, an Artward Bound senior. Learn about their personal journey through their art and their hopes for the future. 

Please view additional student stories below. 

Gersom Rivera '22 BFA Illustration

In elementary school, Gersom discovered his passion for art while reading Marvel comic books and yearned to become a comic artist. He applied to Artward Bound, MassArt’s college access program for underrepresented Boston-area high school artists, in the spring of 2013 to follow his career goals. While attending Artward Bound, Gersom had a great impact on shaping the program by co-designing the logo. 

Nowadays, in addition to being a MassArt student in the Illustration department, Gersom gives back to the Artward Bound community by working as a mentor with the current students. 

"I didn’t have art classes at my high school, so if it wasn’t for [MassArt’s] Artward Bound, I wouldn’t be where I am now." 

gaby moreno '25 BFA PAINTING

Gaby joined Artward Bound in the summer of 2017 to expand her knowledge in the arts. She first became interested in art when her father showed her Dragon Ball Z as a child, which sparked a passion to create her own characters and stories.

When she was in eighth grade, Gaby knew she wanted to follow a career in the arts when she sold one of her paintings and saw the feasibility of being an artist professionally. She soon applied to Artward Bound and was happy to be surrounded by a supportive, positive community that helped solidify her identity. She plans to pursue painting and art therapy in her future.

"We really learn and change here in [Artward Bound]. Being able to access these supplies and classes for free is such a blessing."

Julia Davis '27 BFA

Julia's passion for art began as a child, inspired by the murals her mother painted on the walls of their home. She applied to Artward Bound at the first opportunity while in eighth grade, and officially joined in the summer of 2019. Julia's focus during her time in Artward Bound was on illustration and photography. 

Julia is now a MassArt student, having been awarded the Artward Bound Scholarship. She plans on following her passion of photography or illustration and majoring in one of those fields. Ultimately, her goal is to create picture books for children.

'Artward Bound being free definitely helped me because I came from a low income household and I didn’t have access to anything besides the supplies I had at school. Having access to other mediums helped me realize my love for photography and my sculptural pieces."


Growing up, art allowed Ruth to fully express her ideas, feelings, and messages with the world. This sparked a drive that made her know she wanted to follow a career path in the arts. Ruth was drawn to joining Artward Bound to get a better understanding of the opportunities and careers in the arts. 

Now in her senior year at Artward Bound, Ruth has a clearer view of her future. She plans on becoming an art therapist or educator to share with others the emotional benefits of creating.

"Artward Bound offers a lot of freedom of expression and helps makes you feel safe inside the community."


Hamida was passionate about the arts as a child because it allowed her freedom to self-express and not feel so socially awkward. Now that she is older with a more open personality through artistic and personal growth, Hamida hopes to create art that can resonate with people like it did for her. While art is a huge part of her life, she ultimately plans on studying astrophysics and having a career in the sciences. 

“I felt drawn to the [Artward Bound] community because I was a bit socially distant and thought it would be nice to meet other like-minded individuals.”