On Thursday June 6, two Wilton High School students were among 800 teen artists and writers from across the country who were recognized at Carnegie Hall as National Medalists in the 2019 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards-the nation's longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in grades 7-12, presented by the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers.
The ceremony was opened by actress and writer Tina Fey who said: "Having the experience and achievement of what you've already done, the great thing is that no matter what you end up doing, you've already accessed the creative part of your life and of yourself. You have all had the experience of making something where there once was nothing, so you know that anything is possible."
The ceremony also featured awards alumnus and fashion designer Zac Posen, actress Rose Byrne and the Poet Laureate of the United States Tracy K. Smith. They each presented awards and congratulated students for their accomplishments in the arts.
Julianna Russo, a senior at Wilton High School, won her award for her ceramic ‘Useless Tea pot’. Her teapot and tea cups were both made on the potter’s wheel. She threw a large ring without a bottom, cut and formed the shapes. She left throwing rings in the piece to communicate to the viewer that it was make on the potter’s wheel. She thought it would be fun to make something that is usually functional into something nonfunctional, making the piece a sculpture, therefor titling the piece "Useless Tea Pot". After graduating WHS, Julianna will continue to develop her skills in ceramics as she works towards a degree in art therapy.
Caroline Luciano is a sophomore at Wilton High School created her photograph in her advanced photography class this fall. Her photograph ‘Ella Rose’ was taken with an Infrared converted camera as well as a regular DSL camera. Speaking on how she composted the picture, Caroline said ‘This photograph was created by combining two images. One image was captured using an infrared photograph taken behind the school and the other image was captured using a DSL Photograph taken of my sister at home, the photograph was then further enhanced with an iridescent silver and pearl paint to increase the surreal quality.
Accompanying the students at the award ceremony were two Wilton High School art teachers Suzanne Brandt, who teaches photography and Michelle Currier who teaches ceramics. “I have never had a student win at nationals before. I am very excited that we won two national awards at Scholastic Art Awards’ said Brandt.
More than 200 of the winning artworks were showcased at the Pratt Manhattan Gallery in the exhibition named Art.Write.Now.2019. Further artworks were displayed at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons School of Design at the New School. After the summer, selected works from the exhibition are going on a nationwide tour to art galleries around the country. Further details on the tour are available here.