The entry of Ky Hong Le of Miss Hall’s School was chosen from more than 100 entries from all four of Pittsfield’s high schools as the winner of the annual BerkshiresJazz Student Art Contest. It will become the graphic symbol for the seventh annual Pittsfield CityJazz Festival, which will be held from Oct. 3-13, 2012. Chosen for second and third place were the entries of Valerie Smalls of PHS and Lena Godfrey of Taconic H.S. The awards ceremony, April 12 at the Berkshire Museum, included a performance by the Berkshires Jazz Youth Ensemble under the direction of Pittsfield High School band director Ronald Lively, and the announcement by Berkshires Jazz of its music programming for 2012.
The contest is a way to engage more of the student community in a 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. The top three entries receive small cash prizes and the opportunity to show their work in a world-class exhibit space at the Berkshire Museum.
This year’s judges included artist Julio Granda; 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 Sophie Lee from Miss Hall’s.
Honorable Mention and Judges Choice awards
Judges Choice: Kaileigh Hyman St. Joseph’s H.S.
Kristen Bossio, PHS
Lauren Farry, PHS
Winnie Lee, Miss Hall’s
Hannah Penner, Miss Hall’s
Emily Ren, Miss Hall’s
The Judges Choice selection is intended to call attention of especially creative work that would not be suitable to be a part of the festival marketing materials.
Project coordinator is Art Niedeck, a jazz musician and music educator, and 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, the not-for-profit Berkshires Jazz is chartered to promote jazz education throughout Berkshire County. Its activities are supported by ticket sales from the festival, as well as donations from sponsors, which this year include the Pittsfield Cultural Council, the New England Foundation for the Arts, Berkshire Bank – Legacy Region, and Greylock Federal Credit Union.