Sunset Park

High school students hit the big time with art exhibit

June 10, 2013 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Twelve New York City high school students are getting to see what Andy Warhol must have felt when his painting depicting Campbell soup cans first went on display in a gallery. The students’ artwork and art-related research projects are part of an exhibition in Brooklyn’s Industry City at Bush Terminal running from now until June 23.

The teens were also awarded a $2,000 scholarship each in recognition of their artistic talents from the Dedalus Foundation, an organization founded in 1981 by the artist Robert Motherwell to promote arts education. The foundation has been awarding scholarships to students since 1999.

The Industry City show marks the first art exhibition mounted by the Dedalus Foundation. “We are thrilled to hold the foundation’s first ever exhibition and have the opportunity to showcase the wonderful work of these talented students,” said Jack Flam, president of the foundation. “The space provided by Industry City will allow us to both celebrate the work of our scholarship recipients and share it with the community,” he said. 

The scholarships are awarded in conjunction with the New York City Department of Education (DOE) to high school seniors who are graduating, plan to attend college, and have demonstrated artistic talent. Seven scholarships are awarded to those studying studio art and five are given to art history students. The submissions are reviewed by a panel of judges composed of representatives from the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Art and Design, the School Art League and the DOE.

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The 12 scholarship recipients are: Sana Bando, Giovanna Franciosa, Nikolai Glurkhov, Kirk Lorenzo, Rachel Moon, Galen Morris, Dylan Moseley, Naiky Paradis, Eloise Pillarella, Maria Rivas, Khalif Thompson and Casiana Torres.

Naiky Paradis, 18, said she’s thrilled to have her work be included in the exhibition. “I’m super honored. When my teacher told me about it I was super excited,” she told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Paradis, a senior at the Brooklyn High School of the Arts, described herself as a portrait artist. “I like to observe people,” she said.

Naiky, who was born in the Dominican Republic, said she came to art by way of her interest in architecture. “I was interested more in technical drawing, but my teacher introduced me to painting and told me I should give it a try. I was scared at first. But I found that it came naturally to me,” she said. Painting gave her confidence to try her hand at other forms of art, including film. She is graduating high school this month and plans to attend the Parsons School of Design in the fall.

Does she have advice for other would-be artists? “Do it every day. And keep trying new things,” Naiky said.

Maria Rivas, 17, a student at the High School of Fashion Industries, won a scholarship for her research project. “It feels great to be recognized,” she told the Eagle. “To know that other people understand what I’m trying to say is wonderful,” she said.

Maria, who will attend Brooklyn College in the fall, said she likes to dabble in different forms of art, including painting and sculpture. She also plays the drums and composes music.

Art can be a powerful force in one’s life, Maria said. “It gives people an escape from their lives. When you are in the presence of art, it feels like it’s just you and the artist. You could almost feel what their thought process was,” she said. Her taste in art is eclectic. She admires the work of Vincent van Gogh, as well as the art of William de Kooning.

“By showcasing the work of these students, the scholarships are given added value,” said Karen Rosner, coordinator of Visual Arts for the DOE. “The exhibition provides the scholarship recipients with a platform for their achievements and allows for the full culmination of their work to be recognized,” she said.

“This private company-nonprofit partnership of Industry City and the Dedalus Foundation gives back to the students and community alike by encouraging artistic excellence and facilitating its accessibility to the public,” said Councilwoman Sara Gonzalez (D-Sunset Park-Red Hook). Industry City is located in her council district.

The exhibition, which will feature a selection of the students’ artwork and a screening of their research papers, will run Friday through Sunday over the next two weekends, June 14-16, and June 21-23 at Industry City, at 220 36th St. The gallery will be open from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Fridays and noon to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.


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