Huntington’s Digital Artists Impressive at SCALA Show

Michael Bradford's sensational artwork speaks for itself.

February 7, 2018

Huntington High School’s digital artists are beginning to win awards. Michael Bradford, Emma Franznick, Joseph Garetano and Roger Villatoro competed in this year’s Suffolk County Art Leaders Association All County & Scholarship Show at Babylon’s Old Town Hall and impressed judges and a crowd of art aficionados last weekend.

The exhibition and competition is an annual event held in partnership with the Babylon Citizens Council on the Arts. Top student-artists from across the county were invited to submit artwork in categories ranging from drawing, painting, 3D and photography to mixed media, digital media and scholarship divisions.

Huntington art teacher Kasmira Mohanty.
Huntington art teacher Kasmira Mohanty.

A reception was held last Saturday where Mr. Bradford vied against 13 accomplished artists in the scholarship division and Ms. Franznick and Messrs. Garetano and Villatoro competed in a field of 47 in the All County section.

Awards included $100 for Best in Show, $50 for top honors in each of the entry categories and three honorable mention awards of $25 apiece. Mr. Garetano captured first place in the digital media category and Ms. Franznick received an honorable mention award.

“There was a lot of very good artwork at the show,” Mr. Garetano said. “It was really validating to win the digital media division, considering I’ve only been creating digital artwork for the past year and a half.”

Ms. Mohanty has been a trendsetter in Long Island’s digital arts educational community for the past 17 years. “I’m always so impressed with my students’ abilities and willingness to put themselves out there,” she said. “It can be a scary endeavor for a high school student. I’m glad my kids trust themselves enough to reach beyond the walls of Huntington High School.”

The SCALA show’s artwork will remain on exhibit on the second level of Babylon’s Old Town Hall at 47 West Main Street from Monday to Friday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. through February 9.

Ms. Mohanty has been a Huntington art teacher since September 2001. A graduate of Sachem High School, she holds degrees in photography, fine arts and education from Fashion Institute of Technology, SUNY Purchase and Dowling College. She is also a SCALA executive board member and a member of the New York State Art Teachers Assn. and the New York State Media Arts Teachers Assn.

The veteran Huntington faculty member has developed an instructional program that produces students who are capable of creating award winning artwork. In addition, several of her students have gone on to full time careers using their digital art talents.

The Huntington Art Honor Society faculty advisor from 2008 through 2017, Ms. Mohanty’s digital arts program has been nationally recognized via articles published in School Arts Magazine, locally through News 12 Varsity and in various other educational venues. Outside of the classroom she is also a prize winning exhibiting artist and freelance graphic designer.