For the eighth time in as many years, artists from Preston High School took over a local bank branch, turning it into an art gallery.
On Thursday, March 24 at the Citibank on 3924 E. Tremont Avenue, Preston’s art department handed out its annual awards and hung drawings and paintings to celebrate a year’s worth of work.
The artwork will be displayed in the branch through the summer, and the top prizes were taken by Alexandra Foglia, a 15-year-old freshman for best in show, and 18-year-old senior Swari Patel received the award for best painting.
“I never cease to be amazed by the talents of the women of Preston,” said Congressman Joe Crowley, who stopped by to hand out each award.
The prizes consisted of checks for up to $50 and Foglia’s mother Donna, her sister Ashley, as well has her grandparents, were there to help her celebrate the accomplishment.
Foglia, who was surprised to receive the award, has dedicated a lot of energy to honing her craft over the past year.
“Art is something I really spend a lot of time on,” she said. “I like using pastels and sketching. I got into it at the end of last year because I was applying to LaGuardia High School.”
Patel‘s landscape, done with oil paints, was voted best single painting in the show.
The Morris Park native nearly missed the show after accidently taking the bus to the wrong bank. Patel had to scramble to make it to the right location before her classmates and teachers dispersed.
“I was very surprised that I won,” Patel said. “I don’t think this is the best I’ve done, but it’s something I’m very proud of.”
Kristara Fermaintt won best drawing in show and Caitlyn McElroy won most creative piece. Toni Senior, Sabrina Sims, Jocelyn Carrasquillo and Jennifer D’ Erasmo received honorable mentions.
The award winners were voted on by Preston teachers as well as the Citibank branch employees.
“Every piece is different, just like every student is different,” said Kristin Larsen, who has been teaching studio art at Preston for the past six years. “The art program really allows them to have freedom and be themselves, and be creative in school.”
Elizabeth Schireman has been teaching art at Preston for the past three years and said that the exhibit has been a highlight of her students’ school years.
©2011 Community News Group