2014 Student Art Contest awards
Berkshires Jazz, Inc. closed-out our national Jazz Appreciation Month activities on April 30 with the announcement of the winners of our annual Student Art Contest. The eight winners included entries from all four of Pittsfield’s high schools:
Top prize went to Anina Van der Vorst of Miss Hall’s; second prize was won by Kristen Fontaine, Pittsfield High School; third place went to Phoebe Spare, of Miss Hall’s.
Five Honorable Mention awards went given: Annie Jeons, Saint Joseph’s; Brooke Morse, Taconic; Jennyfer Behanzin, PHS; Ashley Navarrete, PHS; and Mac OBrien, Miss Hall’s.
The ceremony at the Berkshire Museum opened with a performance by jazz prodigy guitarist Nico Wohl, a 13-year-old student from Great Barrington who has been wowing audiences in western New England.
The top three entries received small cash prizes and the opportunity to display their work at the Berkshire Museum. The first-place art (high-resolution image available) will become the graphic image of the 10th annual Pittsfield CityJazz Festival, Oct. 10-19, and will appear on the festival’s poster, web site, advertising, and program booklet.
More than 75 students from Pittsfield and Taconic High Schools, as well as St. Joseph’s and Miss Hall’s, participated in this sixth annual contest, which was conceived to engage more of the student community in cross-genre creative activity. Many of the students conduct independent research the subject, and jazz music is sometimes played during the classes, as a way of inspiring the student artists.
This year’s judges included fine arts writer/communicator Lesley Ann Beck of the Berkshire Museum; graphic designer Tom Buckley of Greylock Marketing Group; and fine art photographer Ken Green of Museum Facsimiles.
Art teachers engaged in the project were coordinator Colleen Quinn, Pittsfield High School; Lisa Ostellino and Barbara Patton, PHS; Marybeth Eldridge and Mike Boroniec, Taconic; Dale Zola, St. Joseph’s; and Ellie Kreischer and Sophia Lee from Miss Hall’s.
Project coordinator is Art Niedeck, a jazz musician and music educator, and co-chairman of the Education Committee of Berkshires Jazz, Inc., which is responsible for planning the Pittsfield CityJazz Festival and other events throughout the year. In addition to its mission of presenting ‘live’ jazz, Berkshires Jazz, Inc. is chartered to promote jazz education throughout Berkshire County. A non-profit organization, its activities are supported by ticket sales from the festival, as well as donations from sponsors, which this year include Greylock Federal Credit Union the Feigenbaum Foundation, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Cultural Pittsfield, and jazz education pioneer Jamey Aebersold.
Jazz Appreciation Month is a national program started by the Smithsonian Institution in 2002 and recognized by Congress in 2003.