About the artist: Niha Burugapalli is an 18-year-old visual artist from Connecticut. She is currently in high school and plans to be heavily involved in art in college. She uses her artwork to depict important events in her life as well as to celebrate and bring cultural awareness through her paintings. Her art is also a form of activism, drawing attention to society’s pivotal problems to enact positive change. She has won first place in the Congressional Art Competition and has her work displayed in the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. She has won several awards in the Scholastic Arts Competition and exhibited her work in several local art galleries. She also uses her paintings to fundraise for the Thirst Project, connecting her to families in Africa as selling her art can help them gain access to safe drinking water. Through art, she’s even experientially demonstrated that it’s never too late to learn something new, challenging ageism and combating society’s negative perception of the elderly by teaching guided painting sessions to people in nursing homes who may not have painted since middle school. Art’s healing properties led her to connect with patients in rehabilitation units of hospitals as she teaches them to paint, helping them discover this stress-relieving technique. She hopes to keep finding innovative ideas to help people through her art.