Student Art Showcased at Met

Emma Colacino, Contributing Writer

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Exhibiting the works of Gold Key Awardees for the scholastic art competition for fifth consecutive year, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will features over 600 original works of art at Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education from March 22nd to May.

The Alliance of Young Artists and Writers holds the scholastic art and writing competition celebrate the creativity, vision, and talent of adolescent artists from seventh through 12th grade.

“Each year we have a good number of Gold Key winners for art,” Art Teacher Kim Do said.

Among them this year are Benjamin Hu (12), Ragan Henderson (12), Cy Goudsmit (12), Malka Kriještorac (12), and Siona Gupta (12).

Hu submitted art for the past two years and was awarded the Golden Key in the sculpture category for his works in modular origami, he said. “I found inspiration from Chinese folk tales and believe there is a strong cultural component to my origami sculptures,” Hu said.

While he believes that origami may be an unconventional medium of sculpture, origami, like other forms of art, shares a central aim to visually articulate a message to the public, he said.

Similarly, Ahaan Palla (11) submitted 7 pieces of art under the category of photography, and earned one silver key and three honorable awards after hearing about the competition from his Photography teacher Aaron Taylor.

For some students, teachers may play a supportive role in the submission of artwork for the competition. “I’m always proud of all my students, because just being able to create something original in our society is a major achievement,” Do said.

The exhibition amassed a large audience. “On opening night alone there were over 400 people at the reception. The exhibition is free and open to the public who come through the 81st street entrance, where a lot of groups gather and the general public enters,” Associate Museum Educator in the Department of Education at The Metropolitan Museum of Art Darcy-Tell Morales, said.

The exhibition is organized by common themes. “We try to see which works ‘talk’ to each other in order to allow for flow throughout the exhibition,” Exhibitions Manager for the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, Andrea Zlotowitz said.

The competition and exhibit has also exposed students to a variety of  careers in the arts. “we feel that this exhibition encourages students to keep creating and to pursue all creative avenues that come their way,” Zlotowitz said.

Similarly, Hu believes the competition believes has made him more open minded about his career options. “The coopetition opened my eyes to a bunch of new potential careers and has really made me consider pursuing a career in the arts, such as architecture,” Hu said.

  For awardees, the exhibit is an opportunity to celebrate and share their works with public. “Students often see historical works and artifacts at the museum and to see their own artwork hanging in the same building creates a sense of pride in their work and the possibility of having a future work live in a museum permanently,” Zlotowitz said.

“I felt really proud of myself when I saw my work in the exhibit,” Hu said. “I always thought of Origami as a hobby, so it was really cool to have my work displayed in the museum.”