Christina Hornstein created a dazzling piece of artwork for this year’s Long Island’s Best Young Artists initiative at the Heckscher Museum of Art. The Huntington High School junior has been working closely with a pair of teachers who have guided and nurtured the teenager and helped her develop an impressive set of skills.
“Since I was a child, I loved coloring and drawing,” Ms. Hornstein said. “I knew the minute I went to school that I would take art classes. During my high school experience, art has been one of my favorite classes. I looked forward to it every day because it helped me wind down from all my advanced classes. Mrs. [Kristin] Singer and Mrs. [Kasmira] Mohanty are my art teachers. Mrs. Singer is a classic drawing and painting teacher, while Mrs. Mohanty is a digital art teacher. They saw my potential from the minute I entered their classroom and have helped me strengthen my art skills. They are both really kind and supportive of each student. They take time every class to view the kids’ art work and give them encouraging comments.”
Ms. Hornstein moved to Long Island as an eighth grader. “Art and psychology are my favorite elective classes,” she said. “Geometry was my favorite core class. My favorite teachers are Mrs. [Natalia] Kopshti, Mrs. [Stacey] Byrnes, Mr. [Keith] Mattis, Mrs. Singer and Mrs. Mohanty.”
The teenager is interested in pursuing a career as an anesthesiologist. In her free time, she works with dogs.
“My LI Best piece was created in Mrs. Mohanty’s classroom,” Ms. Hornstein said. “I have always been a conceptual artist and I tend to go on a different path than most artists. When I see a painting, it isn’t just a painting to me. I see a small story behind it and I love creating my own. My LI Best piece was a digital painting, which took weeks to accomplish. I was in Mrs. Mohanty’s classroom on all of my free periods. When I first started the painting I had a specific idea of what I wanted to create; a feminist picture. Mrs. Mohanty helped me navigate the art challenges that arose. I’m extremely proud of my finished project.”
Participants in the Long Island’s Best initiative choose a work of art in the Heckscher Museum’s collection as the starting point for their own creative process. The teenagers then interpret the respective pieces through their own art.
Ms. Hornstein drew inspiration from artist Mort Künstler’s “Siberian Stalker” for her own piece, titled “Suppression.”
“I was instantly inspired by Künstler’s interpretation of the prey and predator relationship,” said Ms. Hornstein in an artist’s statement that accompanied her work. “The contrast of the tiger against the snow highlights the tiger’s raw power and intimidating presence, while the human footsteps appear meek, unaware and defenseless.
“The theme of the artwork made me reflect on the interaction between men and women in today’s society. Feminism has always been close to my heart because I grew up admiring my mom’s ancestors. I come from a line of women who opposed male domination and fought for gender equality. ‘Suppression’ is a conceptual art piece. The angel-like woman in the picture represents a strong female who is battling male corporate oppression. The bruise on the woman’s eye indicates man’s use of violence and fear in an attempt to control what he views as his. The tiger at the top of her head is her spirit. Tigers are commanding and fierce creatures by nature and feminists are no different.”