Briarcliff High School Art Department Art Salon Set for April 16

The Briarcliff High School Art Department is thrilled to announce the annual Art Salon. It will take place at the Sleepy Hollow Country Club on Tuesday evening, April 16 from 6-8 pm. The grandeur of the venue is a fitting way to celebrate the phenomenal work of our talented students. We appreciate the generosity of the Club and its willingness to host this show time after time. With a beautiful variety of works, film shorts, music, and refreshments, the 2024 Art Salon is sure to be a highlight for the Briarcliff Community.

The Art program at Briarcliff is not only for the gifted student or the exceptionally talented. It is designed for ALL students as an integral part of a well-rounded education. The greatest challenges facing the world today need to be met with originality, creativity, and critical thought–three things that our program is designed to meet head on. The student artwork in the show integrates technical skill with larger theoretical issues such as art history, cultural diversity, and the role of the individual in a global society.

The dedication and amazing mentorship of Art Department coordinator and painting and drawing instructor Roxanne Ritacco, consistently drives the work of the Briarcliff High School artists. Along with the other faculty members, John Brooks, Taylor Reno and Jessica Dubin, Ritacco has molded the department and made it shine as an exemplar in the region. This year’s show is her swansong. She will be retiring in June. In addition to celebrating the young artists, the evening will pay homage to her legacy as a stellar educator.

Briarcliff High School is very lucky to have a thriving program in oil painting. A unique and time-tested medium, we’ve committed to teaching students to use this material and found the funding to support it. The Honors Oil Painting class explored mark-making using Brice Marden and Eastern calligraphy for inspiration. They explored still life and figurative images using vibrant patterns such as those found in the art of Kehinde Wiley and Bisa Butler. The SUNY college level advanced drawing class worked hard on self-portraits and brought a variety of skills and resources to their landscape images. Our earliest painters will show off their copies of master works.

Studio in Art students showcase their printmaking talents. Under the fine instruction of Taylor Reno, they explore a variety of media in this foundation level course. This year block prints will be on view, the outcome of an involved unit on figures and faces. Ms. Reno states that her students “Never fail to face a challenge with energetic enthusiasm.”

The remainder of the work will be comprised of photographs, digital prints, illustrations, sculpture, and ceramics from our semester-long elective programs taught by Mr. Brooks and Ms. Dubin. Examples from the Digital Art & Design class include expressive font designs and state posters. Students in Digital Photography have explored the use of light indoors and outdoors and learned to zoom in on their subjects with a macro lens. Traditional black and white photographs from the Darkroom Photography class compliment the digital works with classic explorations of light, shadow, and texture. Ceramics and Sculpture students will show an array of colorful 3-D constructions including bowls, vases, and geometric sculptures.

The show will feature the portfolio work of a notable group of AP Art students. This year 8 students have prepared portfolios for judging by the College Board. AP students are challenged to generate original ideas and carefully mine resources for inspiration. Zoe Franks is organizing her work around the theme of the 4 elements, Earth, Water, Fire and Space. Diana Jones has made a group of works which reflect her deep connection to the landscape of Maine. Bailey Apter explores symbols and images related to the loss of a loved one. Paul Torosian has chosen architecture as his theme and incorporated silhouettes of buildings both ancient and modern. Nico Vargish explores the theme of nostalgia by reflecting on childhood experiences of great importance. Lily Shafiroff has chosen a botanical theme that includes flowers in their many permutations. Allison Chu experimented with color, transitioning from cooler shades to chromatic palettes to represent the otherworldly quality of dreams and the unconscious. Sora Marable has used the theme of memory and is intrigued by how it shapes one’s life journey. The scope of the work is impressive and the student’s accomplishment, easy to appreciate.

The film shorts put together by the Introduction to Film and Digital Editing course and the Briarcliff Future Filmmakers, taught and supervised by esteemed faculty member Jamie Mandel, will round out a lovely evening. Each one portrays a unique and quirky perspective, represented by the thoughtful editing and plot choices which they entail.

Our guest speaker for the evening will be Julia Schonberg, Director of the Bethany Arts Community in Ossining. Ms. Schonberg will discuss the importance of the visual arts within the context of the wider community.

Musical accompaniment will be provided by a student string ensemble organized by our distinguished music faculty.

We hope to see many people come and share in the jubilance of successful young artists and their work.

All who attend are guaranteed an exciting evening of art, refreshments and fun!

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