Huntington Sparkles at
LI Media Arts Show
Huntington High School art students sparkled at the Long Island Media Arts show at Five Towns College in Dix Hills, winning 25 Best in Show Awards. It marks Huntington's best performance ever in the show.
The breathtaking results are impressive considering the event drew more than 600 entries from about three dozen Nassau and Suffolk high schools. The Huntington students are enrolled in courses taught by Pam Piffard (photography), Heather Swan (video and animation) and Kasmira Mohanty (computer graphics).
In the photography category, Huntington High School artists collected 17 Best in Show awards, including four each by talented Michelle Pechar and Marie Coneys, three by Taylor Choy, two each by Zach Burden and Molly Prep and one each by Nikki Smoot and Josh Morris.
"The Long Island Media Arts Show was a great experience," Mr. Burden said. "Through all of the judges and other artist's opinions about my work, I have grown to think of even more ideas and things that I need to look out for in future projects."
Huntington's graphic artists shined, too, earning seven Best in Show awards including four by Alexis Weitzner and one each by Bobby Scott, Andrea Cerini and Angelica Tome Radigan
"I am so proud of all of my students who participated," Ms Mohanty said. "I have a particularly daring and dedicated group of students this year and it's been really fun to share in their artistic journey."
Stephen Caruso captured a Best in Show award in video and animation for his public service announcement on internet posting. The work will now be sent to the Suffolk County Film Commission for its evaluation. A dozen videos will ultimately be selected for the annual First Exposure student film festival in May.
"I am so proud of the five students that submitted this year," Mrs. Swan said about her video program. "It was a wonderful experience for all of us to see the variety of work from the participating districts."
Huntington Stood Out
"We were all amazed at how well the Huntington work stood out from all the other schools' work," said Joan R. Fretz, district director of fine and performing arts. "There is such depth in the pieces our students create. They are rich in composition and demonstrate state of the art techniques."
While the work on display at Five Towns College was first-rate, there was talk about how budget cuts have undermined some Long Island school district's art programs.
"In talking with students from other schools, we learned that their programs had been cut and they only had one level of instruction remaining," Ms. Fretz said. "Some of the schools who were regulars at this event were not there. When you see the incredibly creative work that our students are producing, it makes you proud to be in a district that recognizes how important it is to provide instruction that matches a student's potential. It's also clear that having a skilled instructor is critical. Some schools lost their technical art teachers and the program just folded."
Huntington's Carly Glowacky didn't compete in this year's show but she did attend as an observer. "Our art at Huntington High School is of a higher caliber because the thought process that goes on prior to the taking of the photo is apparent in the art," Ms. Glowacky said. "The edits we do with Photoshop are absolutely beautiful and we definitely standout among the other students."
Coffey Had Great Time
Caroline Coffey was another student who came for ideas and inspiration. "I had such a great time at the Long Island Media Arts Show," she said. "I was glad to have the opportunity to go and also see the work from so many other schools."
Emily Coleman also floated away on Cloud Nine. "I felt inspired seeing and being around such beautiful artwork," she said. The sensational results, along with top-notch work on display by other Huntington students elevated the program's status in the eyes of many who were not familiar with it.
"Huntington's art students will have portfolios that open many doors to competitive colleges and employers who value creative workers who can infuse visual media in their work," Ms. Fretz said. "Their only challenge will be finding a college program that is ready to take them to the next level of creativity!"
"The 25 Best in Show awards is our highest number of awards received yet," Ms. Piffard said. "It's always great to participate in this event and the recognition makes it all that much better. It's nice to see the kids so proud of themselves!"