Student art show shines with contemporary talent

Gabe Heebner, a senior at HVRHS, was awarded “Best in Show” at the student art show at the KAA on Saturday, Feb. 10.

Leila Hawken

Student art show shines with contemporary talent

Now well into its 101st year of serving the community, the nonprofit Kent Art Association (KAA) opened its 32nd annual student art show Saturday, Feb. 10, attracting student artists, their teachers and the arts community to celebrate the wealth of young talent being nurtured in area public and private schools.

Participating in this year’s show were students from seven area schools, including Millbrook (New York) High School, Housatonic Valley Regional High School (HVRHS), Forman School, Marvelwood School, The Frederick Gunn School, The Hotchkiss School and The Kent School.

“We’re here to encourage, support and mentor regional talent,” said Debbie Shiflett-Fitton, KAA manager, speaking of the organization’s ongoing mission since it was founded in 1923.

The current show has been co-chaired by Carl Chaiet and Mike Spross. Key to the story of the student art show was the deep commitment of the late Constance Horton, who served as KAA president and is to be credited with beginning the student art show tradition. Spross recalled that he began by coming to the art show, then participating as a teacher, and is now hosting the show.

“There’s no getting around it,” said Chaiet. “Each year the artwork gets better.”

“People have no idea what to expect. It’s contemporary, using new technologies,” Chaiet said. Speaking of the young artists, he added, “They are up on everything.”

Seeing the show as a great experience, Michelle Cring, who teaches art at Millbrook High School, attended the exhibit with her husband and son, Maxwell, 1. She praised the value of gathering students’ works from area schools, noticing the variety of themes and materials. Maxwell seemed to prefer the more colorful entries.

One participating student, Ellie Wolgemuth, a junior at HVRHS, used conte, first introduced to the art world in France as a drawing medium in 1795. It is a powdered medium, harder than pastels or charcoal, that is mixed with a clay base, said to mix better in contact with paper.

Art teacher Warren Prindle was circled by his HVRHS students, using the exhibit as a teaching moment while appreciating and celebrating their achievements.

“We have motivated and talented students,” Prindle said, adding that the quality of the HVRHS art program is greatly enhanced by his colleague, Patricia Vanicky, who specializes in teaching photography and sculpture.

One work from each participating school was selected by the judges for top honor and awarded a certificate. For HVRHS, the honor went to Finian Malone; for The Kent School, Phoena Dadson; for Millbrook High School, Sarah Marchant; for The Hotchkiss School, Quisha Lee; for The Frederick Gunn School, Jake Pellicane and Tobin Connell; for Marvelwood School, Sebastian Killin; and for Forman School, Llewelyn Davis.

The exhibit will continue through Friday, Feb. 23. For more information, go to www.kentart.org.

Latest News

Fresh perspectives in Norfolk Library film series

Diego Ongaro

Photo submitted

Parisian filmmaker Diego Ongaro, who has been living in Norfolk for the past 20 years, has composed a collection of films for viewing based on his unique taste.

The series, titled “Visions of Europe,” began over the winter at the Norfolk Library with a focus on under-the-radar contemporary films with unique voices, highlighting the creative richness and vitality of the European film landscape.

Keep ReadingShow less
New ground to cover and plenty of groundcover

Young native pachysandra from Lindera Nursery shows a variety of color and delicate flowers.

Dee Salomon

It is still too early to sow seeds outside, except for peas, both the edible and floral kind. I have transplanted a few shrubs and a dogwood tree that was root pruned in the fall. I have also moved a few hellebores that seeded in the near woods back into their garden beds near the house; they seem not to mind the few frosty mornings we have recently had. In years past I would have been cleaning up the plant beds but I now know better and will wait at least six weeks more. I have instead found the most perfect time-consuming activity for early spring: teasing out Vinca minor, also known as periwinkle and myrtle, from the ground in places it was never meant to be.

Planting the stuff in the first place is my biggest ever garden regret. It was recommended to me as a groundcover that would hold together a hillside, bare after a removal of invasive plants save for a dozen or so trees. And here we are, twelve years later; there is vinca everywhere. It blankets the hillside and has crept over the top into the woods. It has made its way left and right. I am convinced that vinca is the plastic of the plant world. The stuff won’t die. (The name Vinca comes from the Latin ‘vincire’ which means ‘to bind or fetter.’) Last year I pulled a bunch and left it strewn on the roof of the root cellar for 6 months and the leaves were still green.

Keep ReadingShow less
Matza Lasagne by 'The Cook and the Rabbi'

Culinary craftsmanship intersects with spiritual insights in the wonderfully collaborative book, “The Cook and the Rabbi.” On April 14 at Oblong Books in Rhinebeck (6422 Montgomery Street), the cook, Susan Simon, and the rabbi, Zoe B. Zak, will lead a conversation about food, tradition, holidays, resilience and what to cook this Passover.

Passover, marked by the traditional seder meal, holds profound significance within Jewish culture and for many carries extra meaning this year at a time of great conflict. The word seder, meaning “order” in Hebrew, unfolds in a 15-step progression intertwining prayers, blessings, stories, and songs that narrate the ancient saga of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery. It’s a narrative that has endured for over two millennia, evolving with time yet retaining its essence, a theme echoed beautifully in “The Cook and the Rabbi.”

Keep ReadingShow less
Housy baseball drops 3-2 to Northwestern

Freshman pitcher Wyatt Bayer threw three strikeouts when HVRHS played Northwestern April 9.

Riley Klein

WINSTED — A back-and-forth baseball game between Housatonic Valley Regional High School and Northwestern Regional High School ended 3-2 in favor of Northwestern on Tuesday, April 9.

The Highlanders played a disciplined defensive game and kept errors to a minimum. Wyatt Bayer pitched a strong six innings for HVRHS, but the Mountaineers fell behind late and were unable to come back in the seventh.

Keep ReadingShow less