Whitman Artists Highlighted at Heckscher Museum

The Heckscher Museum in Huntington just held their annual Long Island's Best Young Artists Exhibition, showcasing all of the very best high school art talent on Long Island. Walt Whitman Art teachers Ms. Verna Amakawa and Ms. Mary Ponte are pleased to announce that three of their students were featured in the exhibition. One of those students, Whitman senior Phillip Gladkov, was awarded the highest prize, “Best in Show,” for his mixed-media piece called "The Rise of Consumerism." “I found great inspiration in German American expressionist painter and illustrator George Grosz,” said Phillip. “His paintings were highly critical of the militarism and national socialism that were sweeping Germany at the time.”

Caroline Lupardo, also a senior, took her inspiration from a lithograph using seemingly random images and typography that, when viewed as a whole, presents a meaningful image. “I used a quote from John Lennon, ‘I really thought that love would save us all,’ and applied pen and ink images depicting all the suffering still going on in the world,” said Caroline. “I wanted to create something to make a statement.” Like Phillip, Caroline is looking to continue pursuing her love for fine art in college next year. Both students are undecided about which school they hope to attend.

Junior Shannon Reilly's inspiration came from the works of Joseph Szabo, a Long Island teacher and photographer who has been photographing his teenaged students for the past 25 years and has perfectly captured the ambivalence of the 1970s. “Szabo’s exhibit called ‘The Coming of Age in America’ contained a photograph called "Night Owls" that depicts two teenaged boys sitting on a road,” said Shannon. “He captured so much emotion that you really feel what they were experiencing.”   Shannon’s photograph titled "A Bright Walk" captures a carefree walk down a road with a few friends. “It was sunny and warm on that particlar winter day," said Shannon, "and I tried to depict the peace and calm of the moment.”

Photo: left to right: Shannon Reilly, Phillip Gladkov, and Caroline Lupardo with their respective works of art.