SARANAC LAKE - Twelve seniors at Saranac Lake High School, about 10 percent of the graduating class, plan to pursue careers in art. That's more than in past years, according to John "Doc" Ward, who has been teaching art there for 25 years.
Initially, Ward's art program had about 30 students, but as years progressed it has grown and is thriving. Approximately 300 students participated in the art program this year.
The SLHS Art Show exhibition opened April 29 in the Harrietstown Town Hall and will be taken down Wednesday. The show consists of a variety of different types of artwork - from photography and metals to drawing and painting - created by students who take art classes.
Lizzie Romano made this and other newspaper dresses, on display through Wednesday at the Saranac Lake High School Art Show in the Harrietstown Town Hall. Romano plans to attend SUNY’s Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan in the fall.
(Photo — Brooke Huynh)
Award winners included Danielle Eble, who was given the award for Best in Show, and Gabby Quinn for Best 3D Art, as well as Erin Connolly for Best 2D Art. Sara Mazdzer and Alex Giroux won awards for Best Body of Art. In addition, Molly Orman and Mallory Cotter were granted the Best Picture Awards.
Other participants included Alex Giroux, a sophomore, who would love to go to SUNY Plattsburgh. Freshman Nickie Trudeau also won an honorable mention for her sculpture of a tree, which was sold at the art show. Senior Jake Sporn won an honorable mention for his art entitled "Thin Air"; he plans to attend Paul Smith's College in the fall and after two years study photography at Rochester Institute of Technology.
Compared to other shows in the past, "This show has been really dynamic to me," Ward said. "We always have outstanding pieces, but it seemed to me like we have more this year."
Here are profiles of three seniors who won awards and plan to pursue art careers:
Mazdzer is going to Pratt Institute in Brooklyn in the fall to pursue a bachelor of fine arts degree in sculpture. Her major piece in this year's show was a metal sculpture of a bear.
"Doc wanted a bear, so I made a bear," Mazdzer said.
She has taken on a series of independent studies in art at the high school and has multiple aspirations, such as sculpting 3D drawings at Pixar. She would be ecstatic to work in the film industry.
Mazdzer also has danced since childhood, which inspires her art.
"I was inspired to create art because of my love for the 3D world, which came from dance," she said. "I used to dance six to seven days a week, and dance is a form of art. Moving your body in a physical space really inspired me to create art in a different way. I don't know where it will take me, but that's what I want to do."
Lizzie Romano is going to SUNY's Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan in the fall and will study fashion merchandising management. Her major pieces in this art show were her intricate dresses made from recycled newspapers, which led her to earn the People's Choice award. Those who attended the art show voted for what they considered the most outstanding piece of work.
She also won second place for the Junk to Funk contest, in which students from surrounding schools are eligible to participate. The purpose of this contest is to create the most innovative art made out of recycled materials. Romano was granted $100 for second place. Furthermore, she won $50 for the accessories she created to go along with the dresses. Romano also achieved an honorable mention award for her photography entitled "Hair Affair."
These dresses have been the most monumental pieces of art of Romano's high school art career.
"The Junk to Funk contest itself really drove me to create this dress, and I always wanted to start sewing," she said. "It was out of my comfort zone to work with newspaper, and to get rewarded for it is pretty cool, too."
Orman is going to SUNY New Paltz for art education. She has used art as a mechanism to express herself and would love to help other students achieve this goal. She plans to major in psychology as well.
Orman was given an award for Best Picture in this year's art show. Photography is a favorite way she expresses her talent.
She is excited to embrace the college experience. She is looking forward to broadening her many skill sets and expanding the media she has been exposed to already. She has been creating art since she was able to hold a pencil.
"It was my mom's favorite way to keep me quiet," Orman said. "I wouldn't have been able to make it through high school if I didn't have an outlet. Art is something that's always been a big part of my life. This route seemed like a proper way to go. I am just an artistic sponge."