When you stop and think about it, research partners Sophie Lange, Brooke Parks, Olivia Polinsky and Reese Rinaldi came up with a unique topic for their National History Day project that might have scared many others away. The group won honors for their 10 minute documentary titled “The Language of Art: How Pablo Picasso Communicated Through Artwork.”
This year’s National History Day theme is “Communication in History: The Key to Understanding.” Participants in the competition were permitted to submit work in a variety of formats ranging from individual and group exhibits and websites to historical papers and individual and group documentaries.
Ms. Lange, Ms. Parks, Ms. Polinsky and Ms. Rinaldi are thrilled to be advancing to the Long Island regional finals, where they will vie for a berth in the state championships set for later this spring.
“We wanted our project to be unique so we decided to look into art,” Ms. Rinaldi said. “Olivia had the great idea to look into Picasso. He became the perfect topic. Our project is all about how Picasso used his art to convey a message. We are all very happy with the finished product and we can’t wait until the next round.”
Teachers judging this year’s National History Day contest said the documentary produced by the group is exceptionally informative and creative. It presents and analyzes interesting historical details on Picasso’s life and art and how it changed the world.
“We chose to write about symbolism throughout Pablo Picasso’s artwork,” Ms. Polinsky said. “Pablo Picasso alongside many people of his time period experienced a series of difficulties and challenges including the Spanish Civil War and Spanish famine. He was able to communicate his thoughts and ideas through his paintings. He used different animals and colors to express his feelings and emotions at a given time. When people viewed his paintings they most likely felt comforted by the fact that they weren’t alone and they had each other to rely on during these crucial times. We choose the topic of symbolism in Picasso’s art because we wanted to research a topic that we were interested in and found to be unique. Art is a passion of mine and I’m so glad we could include researching a variety of paintings in our project.”
Although he passed away decades ago, Picasso is still a towering figure in the art world.
“I feel our project turned out very well,” Ms. Polinsky said. “We were able to utilize good communication and teamwork skills to create a successful documentary and have some fun while working together.”
The name Picasso is well-known to those of all ages, especially anyone interested in art, including the teenagers attending classes at Huntington High School.
“Since we are all interested in art, we chose Pablo Picasso as our main topic was because we thought this could help strengthen our backgrounds in art and be interesting experience,” Ms. Lange said. “I take Creative Crafts and Olivia takes Drawing and Painting. We thought it’d be something unique that nobody else would have. We discussed many different possible topics, but we decided on this one since we all have backgrounds dealing with art in Huntington.”
The documentary took many weeks to create. Extensive effort was devoted to researching the topic, which was followed by discussion about to include in the short film and how to go about presenting all the material and editing it to conform to contest guidelines.
“I think it came out really great,” Ms. Parks said. “We put a lot of time and effort into it and I’m so proud that we accomplished such an amazing documentary. The one thing I’m most grateful for is that we all worked together to create this project. We all used our different abilities to put in the extra effort for this to become such an excellent experience for all of us to share together.”
To view the documentary, click on this link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lSP-FlTlBn48YP87Ksr6a9vIUEMSpe39/view