Young Artists Shine at KMA Young Artists Exhibition | visual arts


Showcasing an impressive range of visual styles, subjects and media, art projects created by talented seniors from Scarsdale and Edgemont High Schools are on display at the highly anticipated annual Young Artists Exhibition at the Katonah Museum of Art (KMA).

Through portraits and landscapes, digital prints and Plexiglas, textiles and mirrors, students made creative expression a focal point of their senior year of high school amid an ongoing pandemic.

“It’s great to see the students back in action in the art room, doing what they love the most,” said Adrienne Amorosa, art teacher at Edgemont Jr./Sr. High school.

The stories of how students planned and executed their creations are best told in their own words, through what is known as the “artist’s statement”.

For his Advanced 3D Subjects course, SHS senior Wubet Jean-Baptiste, a student of Jennifer Hench, created a glazed stoneware vase representing diametrically opposed concepts – nature versus industry.

“Industry, for me, is repetition; it is devoid of differences. Nature, to me, means reach. Each section of the vase has been carefully constructed with this in mind. Which do you prefer, industry or nature? she asks the viewer.

Edgemont’s Suji Jegal is inspired by Patti Smith’s memoir, “M Train,” which chronicles the everyday life and personal attachments of the alternative rock singer-songwriter. Her statement reads: “As I read this book, I reflected on my own daily life and the object of my affections and dreams. This pillow rests on my bed, a place where my dreams and realities come and go in my head and express the eruption of this cycle through this erupting pillow.

Jonathan Wallach created his image “Crossroads”, as part of SHS Art Professor Dina Hofstetter’s Digital Photography II assignment, which focused on capturing light and movement. His image of the heart of the village of Scarsdale, appearing as a lapse of time, is a metaphor for life’s choices.

“Some decisions may seem difficult and at times daunting, scary or even impossible, but ultimately you must deliver a verdict. As you embark on your own journey, walk to the beat of your own drum, but remember always that a ‘crossroads’ is inevitable on any path you take,” he said in his statement.

Now in its 39th year, the exhibit offers students the opportunity to participate in all aspects of curating, installing, and even marketing the exhibit. The 2022 show includes 350 works from 39 schools in Westchester, Putnam and Fairfield counties.

“The work done this year is fantastic,” said Margaret Adasko, KMA Education Curator. “Students are really venturing into uncharted directions with new materials, new themes, and on a much larger scale. There really is so much confidence in the work.

There has been a return to more tactile materials in student projects in the form of textile art and fashion, but the technology isn’t going away any time soon. Rebecca Kim drew a portrait in her sketchbook, then scanned it into her computer to continue working digitally with the program, Clip Studio Paint. She used a digital brush with a gouache effect to paint the subject, and different overlays and filters to achieve the neon effect of the lighting.

SHS art instructor Janna Johnsen noted that a major benefit of the YA exhibit is that it exposes students to a cross-section of the wider local region, revealing a wide variety of mediums, materials and styles. creative approaches to traditional and contemporary art concepts.

“These are high-level art students who have a glimpse of the greatest pool of talent at a level they could study after graduating from high school. Our students put forward their best pieces, full of expression and originality, whether they responded to a design call or a contemporary art theme or concept,” said Johnsen.

She went on to note that it is inspiring for students, teachers and the community to see the depth and richness of ideas and the creative manipulation of so many artistic mediums, from drawing, painting and sculpture to fashion, photography, architecture and digital media.

“The Young Artists Fair is at the pulse of our region’s top emerging artists who are full of such potential, skill, creativity and commitment to creating authentic art,” said Johnsen.

For her part, Adasko has been a catalyst behind “Young Artists” since joining the Katonah Museum two decades ago and has seen the impact of public recognition of students’ creative beliefs.

“Throughout high school, the arts are often secondary to academic and athletic priorities,” she said. “Young Artists offers the opportunity to bring art to center stage and celebrate its value.”

Young Artists 2022 runs until Sunday, February 27.


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