Talented young Long Island artist Marcella Sanchez from Floral Park Memorial High School is flanked, on the left, by Winn Rea, chair of the LIU Art Department, and Dr. Donna Tuman, director of the Art Education Program at LIU Post, on the right.

The artistic creations of 63 talented Long Island students selected from 33 local high schools received special recognition on Jan. 9th when the LIU Post Art Department hosted an awards ceremony to honor them in the S.A.L. Gallery in the B. Davis Schwartz Memorial Library on the Brookville campus.

Called “Advanced Visions 15: High School Artists of Excellence,” the exhibition featured the talented artwork being done by students in Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and Portfolio Preparation art programs.

This annual exhibit, which ran from Dec. 18, 2018 until Jan. 9, 2019, marked the 15thyear that LIU has hosted this unique presentation.

Curating the exhibition is no easy task, explained Winn Rea, chair of the LIU Post Art Department.

“It’s the very highest level students,” she said, “and the teachers from each high school are allowed to send just two works.” Then their work is judged by LIU’s Art Department.

“This year’s work is an excellent example of a wide selection of media, yet there is a coincidental and beautiful content theme in many pieces,” explained Cristina Lomangino, exhibition coordinator for all the student art shows on the LIU campus and a graduate herself as well as an adjunct professor. “There’s a lot of self-portraiture this year that we’re seeing, and a lot of work playing with focus and depth of field.”

In general, the top awards are based on how well the students use concept, form and method in their creations. As Lomangino put it, the criteria translates to “what they’re actually drawing; the way that it’s drawn, the technique; and if they’re doing something original with the artwork that hasn’t been done before.”

The top three artists who received the “Juror’s Awards” were Marcella Sanchez from Floral Park Memorial High School for her compelling self-portrait called “Glass Window;” Margo Christie from Hicksville High School for her mixed-media representational piece painted on balsa wood, “Epidermodysplasia Verruciformis”; and Steven Rogers of Massapequa High School for his multi-textured landscape oil painting, “Under Overcast.”

The five students given Honorable Mentions were: Mehr Sharma from Hicksville High School for “Lost in Connection”; Blue Ruthen from John F. Kennedy High School for “Work in Progress: A Self Portrait”; Gianna Companaro from East Rockaway High School for “Hearing;” Katya Jaworski from Northport High School for “Typewriter”; and Payton Odierno from Cold Spring Harbor High School for “Looking Back.”

This exhibition at LIU presents aspiring local high school art students a great chance to advance their careers, Lomangino explained. “They get to put it on their resumes when they’re applying to art schools, if that’s the direction they wind up going,” she said. “Having their work shown at the university presents an exclusive opportunity for a lot of high school students.”

But Long Island’s art teachers also get a shout-out.

“We salute the dedicated teachers who work tirelessly to maintain outstanding high school art programs,” Rea and Lomangino proclaimed in the exhibit program, and “make a place for young creative spirits to grow and be recognized.”

The next exhibit in the S.A.L. Gallery, which opens Feb. 5 and runs just a week, will feature the work of Jessica Hart, an LIU Post grad student in the MFA Fine Arts program.