Revere High artists have a new “gallery’’

by Laura Bednar

The walls of the Ocelot Café (formerly named Plates by Post) on Wheatley Road in Richfield are not covered with the kind of stereotypical photos and prints usually found in coffee shops. Through a recent partnership between the café and Revere Local Schools, student artwork is hanging in the café that includes the name of the artist, grade level, title of the work and type of art.

The art comes from Revere High School students in advanced placement art courses, mostly juniors and seniors. RHS teacher Robert Pierson has taught art for 27 years, the better part of which has included college preparatory art classes. He said he asked his students to submit their best work then matted and hung the pieces in the café.

Liz Post, co-owner of the Ocelot Café, was, according to Pierson, one of his star pupils. She is now using her artistic ability in the food and bakery she creates.

“I was a student at Revere for the entirety of my youth education. During which, I was pretty heavily involved with the arts program,” said Post.

Examples of the artwork from Revere High students include representational drawings.

While she was working at the Richfield Gourmet Café in 2017 (before purchasing it and starting the Ocelot), she asked the owner to hang one of her high school artworks in the café. When she came back to purchase the business in 2022, her artwork was still hanging on the wall.

“Looking at it had me recalling just how much I loved the arts program and teachers that Revere offered,’’ she said. “I figured it was worth a shot to reach out to my previous teacher and see if he or his students would be interested in displaying their work at our shop.”

The current artwork has been up for one month and includes colored-pencil renderings, monotype prints and inkblot contours. Pierson said the art is representational, identifying something that exists in life.

“It’s college-level drawing,” Pierson said. “The best of the best of art at Revere.”

The art will be changed a few times during the school year, depending on how many pieces are submitted and students’ desire to have their art displayed.

Pierson said not everyone attends the annual Revere art show, but “lots of people get coffee every day.” He added that there is a mutually beneficial relationship, with the café able to draw more customers and the students able to be recognized for their work.

Said Post, “We’re excited to highlight student artwork, while also benefiting by having unique pieces to catch the eye while enjoying a hot cup of coffee.”

The pieces are not for sale, but many will be submitted to the Scholastics Arts Program for the opportunity to win awards within the state. Pierson said he expects AP art classes other than drawing to become part of the partnership, such as painting.

“I know how much time went into these pieces, and I promise that our customers and our staff enjoy seeing them each day,” said Post. “Creativity deserves to be seen and appreciated.” ∞

Featured Image: Artwork from Revere High School students is displayed on a wall in the Ocelot Cafe. Photos by Laura Bednar.