WEST ORANGE, NJ — The second NJCPTA Reflections Art Show was held at Liberty Middle School on Jan. 28 to award students placing in the national competition. This year’s theme was “What is Your Story?” and featured several types of art to reflect West Orange students in kindergarten through 12th grade, including pencil, crayon, watercolor, oil, sculpture, photography, writing and dance.
“This was our second year presenting PTA Reflections in West Orange,” NJPTA Reflections chairperson and West Orange resident Lee Sutton said in a press release. “We increased submissions and participation, and every student participant was recognized for their work and encouraged to continue expressing themselves through art.”
Comments by Sutton, Essex County PTA Chairwoman Kyra Swinney, West Orange Superintendent Jeff Rutzky, fine arts supervisor Lou Quagliato, and West Orange Arts Council members Amelia Panico and Patricia Mitrano encouraged students to continue their artistic pursuits. The highlights of the evening were performances by students and special appearances by the West Orange High School boys’ and girls’ step teams.
Students were recognized with awards of excellence, awards of merit and honorable mentions. All award of excellence winners moved on to the state competition. Winners at the state level then move on to national competition, where scholarships are given to winners.
West Orange High School senior Kennedy Fort-Foskey has moved on to national competition for her original choreographed dance routine, “Faders.” National competition winners will be announced by the National PTA on May 2.
“When children express themselves through words, pictures, music, photography and other art forms, they grow intellectually,” Sutton said. “The National PTA Reflections program helps parents encourage and recognize the continuous self-discovery process of their children. With art, children learn to analyze their thoughts, feelings and ideas; look at objects, people and experiences in a fresh and exciting way, and develop a curiosity for the ideas and works of others. Programs like PTA Reflections allow students to cultivate and curate creative skills that give them an academic advantage.”
West Orange winners are as follows:
From Gregory Elementary School, Joel Goldberg won an Award of Merit in visual arts.
From Redwood Elementary School, Alvaro Silva won an Award of Merit in literature; Leonardo McCormick won two Awards of Merit in visual arts; Sachi Goel and Nicole Caritas won Awards of Excellence in literature.
From Kelly Elementary School, Stephen Crane and Mia Perez won Awards of Merit in visual arts; Reagan Edwards won an Award of Excellence in dance; Sayari Tobias Rivra won an Award of Merit in music.
From Hazel Elementary School, Adrianna Kotchkoski and Christopher Arens won Awards of Excellence in visual arts; Riley Smith and Daisy Smith won honorable mentions in visual arts.
From Washington Elementary School, Tyrone Muldrow and Jasmin Minchala won Awards of Excellence in visual arts; Scarlen Terrero and Nephtalie Georges won Awards of Merit in visual arts; and Shelly Guallpa and Kailyn Dixon won honorable mentions in visual arts.
From Mt. Pleasant Elementary School, Melany Gonzalez, Sarah Topps, Itzel Gonzalez, Annabel Reilly, Sophia Montoya, Skylar Lassiter, Gianna Michelle D’amore, Isha Garala, Lily Sandels, Daniella Malanga and Mike Sandals won Awards of Merit in visual arts; Nava Brickman, Lendsley Labardy, Nyah McKinney, Brian Spann, Victoria Peart, AJ D’amore and Jewelia Taylor won honorable mentions in visual arts; and Dasha Rachioppi and Cleopatra Curis won Awards of Excellence in visual arts; Leah Davies won an Award of Merit on music composition; and Stacy Folas won an Award of Merit in literature.
From Edison Middle School, Paula Ortiz and Jordan Dettaarte won Awards of Excellence in visual arts; and Charley Dvorin, Nia Oparaji, Anna Shelley, Ariana Espinal and Yuveen Silva won Awards of Merit in visual arts.
From Liberty Middle School, Tiffany Romnarine, Belen Osborne, Jalene Lyons, Alexis Dolegowski, Justin Lopez, Robert Rohden, Jerrick Tigre, Amaya Martinez, Ebun Adegbite, Alexander Hiemala won honorable mentions in visual arts; Allison Quispe, Natalie Menor, Allison Alba Vega, Emily Morales, Olivia Pinto, Christopher Parson, Ella Silivanch, Jordan Roberts, Aaron Bunker, Brianna Dannemiller and Jean Monter Nores won Awards of Merit in visual arts; Christina Charles and Clark Bunao won Awards of Excellence in visual arts; Rose Murphy-Braunstein won an Award of Merit and honorable mention; Caroline Campanella won two Awards of Merit; and Sheldon Senek won an Award of Merit in literature.
From West Orange High School, Ciara Racanelli, Emma Sawyer, Katie Meyerson, Gabriel J. Andrate, Migdalee Gonzalez won Awards of Merit in visual arts; Elika Burton, Aira Patricia Dolfo and Ciara Racanelli won Awards of Excellence in visual arts; Cameron Bridgers won an Award of Excellence in dance; Julia Lawrence won an Award of Excellence in literature; and Julia D’Amato won an Award of Merit in literature and, in photography, an Award of Excellence, three Awards of Merit and two honorable mentions.
Photos Courtesy of WOSD