On April 30, 2019, observed globally as International Jazz Day,
Berkshires Jazz announced Student Art Contest winners
More than 100 students from Pittsfield High School participated in this 12th annual contest, which was conceived as a way to engage more of the student community in cross-genre creative activity.
This year’s judges included painters Marguerite Bride and Scott Taylor, and designer Tom Buckley. They were charged with the difficult task of determining three winners, and five honorable mentions. The wWinning paintings include (with judges’ comments):
1. Sophia Nguyen (painting to left). The judges commented that it was especially well-painted, down to the detail, very good composition. Captures the essence of many instruments in an appealing mix. Ms. Nguyen’s painting will become the graphic symbol of the 15th annual Pittsfield CityJazz Festival, in mid-October.
2. Megan Francoeur. The painting “feels musical,” and expresses itself in vibrant colors and creative composition.
3. Antonia Bedard Torres. A great abstract with fun color play, it conjures abstract jazz.
Honorable mentions are awarded to
• Nolan Degrof
• Jazlyn Rodriguez
• Lynniah Falwell
• Paige Webster
• Abby Cohan
The contest was organized by art teacher Colleen Quinn of PHS, in collaboration with Lisa Ostellino. Overall 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 our mission of presenting ‘live’ jazz, Berkshires Jazz, Inc. is chartered to promote jazz education throughout Berkshire County.
The student art contest is one way to spread the interest in jazz to a broader part of our community and draw attention to April as Jazz Appreciation Month. Jazz Appreciation Month is a national program started by the Smithsonian Institution in 2002 and recognized by Congress in 2003. Its purpose is to celebrate jazz, the country’s indigenous art form, often referred to as “America’s classical music.”
Megan Francoeur’s painting is to the left, below; Antonia Bedard Torres’ painting is to the right.