Huntington High School art students turned in a remarkable performance at the Long Island Media Arts show at Five Towns College in Dix Hills, winning 26 Best in Show Awards in a stunning display of talent and creativity.
The exceptional showing is even more impressive considering the event drew hundreds of entries from two dozen metropolitan area high schools. The Huntington students are enrolled in courses taught by Pam Piffard-Williams (photography), Heather Swan (video and animation) and Kasmira Mohanty (graphic arts).
Huntington photographers were simply sensational, winning 19 Best in Show Awards, including four by Quinn Blackburn, three by Ruth Geneus and two each by Max Schauder, Alyssa Fox, Rudi Fasolino and Katelin Hanke. Tania Ulloa, Lydia Witt, Mark Rafuse and Nicole Sevilla also captured Best in Show Awards.
“Last year, I visited the Media Arts Show when I was in Advanced Photography,” Ms. Geneus said. “It was because of that trip that I considered pursuing Advanced Placement photography. I personally love feedback either positive or negative and this year I got great feedback, which is something I value.”
Huntington photographers have a long tradition of winning awards at the show, which Five Towns College has hosted for many years. “It was a great experience to see different styles of artwork,” Ms. Hanke said. “It was also helpful to hear the critiques from people in the industry.”
With so many of her students winning awards, Mrs. Piffard-Williams was ecstatic with the performance. “I am always beyond proud of my students,” she said. “It amazes me to see all their work on display. We have a lot of talent in this group. The community is in for a treat at this year’s district art show.”
The Huntington contingent overwhelmed the strong field submitting work. “Even though I’ve been in photo for three years, this was the first time I participated in the Media Arts Show and it was really an enjoyable experience,” Mr. Fasolino said. “I received a lot of feedback and also obtained a fair amount of awards.”
The judges were clearly impressed with the artwork submitted by the Huntington photographers. “It was fun to get a day off of regular school and mingle with the artistic community,” Mr. Schauder said. “It was cool to have my pictures on display and hear other people’s input.”
Discussing their work with the judges was a meaningful exercise for the Huntington teenagers. “It was good to see other people’s work and it was a good learning experience,” Mr. Rafuse said.
Four Huntington graphic artists won Best in Show Awards.
Participating in the show was an opportunity for the photographers to grow. “It was a good way to see things in your photos that you haven’t noticed before and to get feedback about pictures that are going to be in you AP portfolio,” Ms. Witt said.
The Huntington students submitting work for the show are a very talented group. “After going to the show for video for the past two years it was a fun new experience to go for photography,” Ms. Ulloa said. “I enjoyed viewing other people’s work and receiving feedback on what I can improve because there’s always room for improvement.”
Huntington graphic design artists Tateana Khokhar, Katie Giambrone, Roger Villatoro and Thomas Goldsmith all garnered Best in Show Awards for their stunning work.
Outstanding young filmmaker Charlie Ehrman garnered two Best in Show Awards to lead Huntington’s video arts students. Noah Morris also captured a Best in Show Award for his exceptional short film.
“It was an amazing experience to attend the Long Island Media Arts Show for my fourth year in a row and receive two Best in Shows,” Mr. Ehrman said. “By screening two of my short films, I was able to receive positive feedback from judges and the audience. The Media Arts Show has been a great medium for me to share my original stories. I look forward to keep submitting to festivals.”
Mr. Ehrman took honors for his films, The Grappler and Journey from El Salvador: An Edgar Rivas Story. The latter film tells the story of Mr. Rivas, a Huntington sophomore. Mr. Morris’ stop motion film, Friend was also singled out for praise by the judges.
Art teacher Heather Swan, who leads Huntington’s video and animation program was thrilled by the success of her students. “This year we saw some incredible videos from all around the Island,” she said. “The video students were inspired by what was presented. We submitted seven videos this year and were awarded three awards. I am super proud of Charlie Ehrman, Edgar Rivas and Noah Morris for their Best in Shows.”