Now in its 39th year, the ’s High School Art Show and Portfolio Competition highlights the best of student artwork from around the region. This year, three students from the Stamford Public Schools and two students from received a place in the show. For many, it’s the first time they have had the opportunity to see their work displayed in this way, matted and hung with care in a local gallery.
Family, friends, students, and teachers gathered on Sunday afternoon to view the artwork and celebrate the students’ wins.
“We’ve been involved for awhile, it gives them a great opportunity to see their work exhibited in this kind of setting,” Paul Cusano, art teacher at said. “We encourage students to try it and experience the process of putting together a portfolio.”
Nicole Kolenberg, a senior at Stamford High School, took the top prize in the show — first in the portfolio division.
“I entered an all-sports portfolio so I tried to create a story with it about the game, the fans, the players themselves,” Kolenberg said.
For Kolenberg, her interest in sports and in photography have come together to create a style all her own.
“I grew up going to Yankees games,” Kolenberg said. “I picked up photography my sophomore year and it turned out I was pretty good at it.”
Kolenberg would photograph her friends at their games and later, served as photographer for a baseball team.
“What’s remarkable is her ability to work with sports events and capture that split second — sliding into home plate or when someone is up to bat. You can feel the emotion,” Cusano said.
Two students placed in the competition. Jessica Michelotti took first in the painting category, while Richard Ramos received an honorable mention in the photo/print division.
In addition the the Stamford Public School students, two juniors from King have their work in the exhibit.
“We make sure that every student who graduates from King has been in the art studio," Connie Nichols, art teacher at King, said.
Junior Daniel Chimes placed second in the 3D/Mixed Media category.
“He’s very independent, this was the Shoe Project: the question is “What can you do with a shoe?” Some were more obvious, but Dan’s was quite different."
Victoria Uva, a junior at King, placed second in the drawing category for "Self Portrait" — a piece that Nichols described as demonstrating her exemplary persistence and craftsmanship.
“It took a long time, but it was fun to see it come together,” Uva said.
Dr. Polly Rauh, Stamford Board of Education president presented the awards at the opening reception. Rauh was thrilled to see 13 Fairfield County schools represented in the exhibit this year.
“My background is in art history so I’m very pleased,” Rauh said. “It’s important that we recognize the arts as an importance aspect of their education.”