Heckscher Museum

Three HHS Artists at Long Island’s Best Exhibit

The Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington.

March 16, 2017

The Heckscher Museum of Art will host an opening reception for the Long Island’s Best Young Artists exhibition on Sunday night. The work of three individual Huntington High School artists and one group project has been selected for display at the show, which runs through April 9.

Huntington student-artists Quinn Blackburn, Claire Hannon and Maggie Giles have pieces in the exhibit, which is in its 21st year. A total of 387 student artwork entries from 56 Long Island schools works were submitted for jurying. Curator Lisa Chalif and guest juror Cindy Grimm selected 84 pieces in various media for inclusion in the show, which opened last Saturday.

“This juried exhibition provides select students with the unparalleled opportunity to exhibit their artwork in the museum and connect with the broader Long Island community,” according to the Heckscher Museum. “The quality of artwork is exceptional and delivers a professional-level show in a broad range of media, styles, and subjects. Each student has written an artist statement describing their inspiration and artistic process; an image of the ‘inspiration artwork’ is also provided to deepen visual connections.”

LI Best exhibit
Huntington students have artwork
on display at the LI Best exhibit.

Mr. Blackburn is working with Huntington art teacher Kasmira Mohanty this year. Ms. Hannon and Ms. Giles and group project artists have been studying with teacher Kristin Singer. The two faculty members are quite impressed with the work produced by their award winning students.

Participants in the Long Island’s Best initiative choose a work of art in the Heckscher Museum’s collection as the starting point for their own creative process. The teenagers then interpret the respective pieces through their own art. “The quality of the artwork is exceptional and delivers a professional-level show,” exhibit organizers said.  

Each of the pieces in the exhibit is accompanied by an artist’s statement, which explains “the thought process and artistic journey from conception to completion,” according to organizers.  “A thumbnail image of the artwork on view in the museum that inspired the student work is also featured.”

The group project developed by Ms. Singer’s Advanced Art students is a trip to Eli Mollineaux, a Huntington sophomore who passed away last fall after a brave lifelong battle against Pearson’s Syndrome. The teenager was a featured artist at last year’s Long Island Best exhibit and he won twin awards for his work in the show.

Inspired by Asia Lee’s “Fallen Shadow,” the Huntington group artists created “bELIeve” as a tribute Mr. Mollineaux. “Our main purpose in designing this piece was to heal and communicate through art, just as Eli did for us through his creativity and spirit,” Ms. Singer said. “We used 36 squares, a number which is explained in the Talmud to be symbolic of the few truly righteous people. Our community views Eli as one of these honored individuals. In sewing our squares of rice paper into a collaborative project, even including a brushstroke from Eli’s own watercolor piece, the thread served to unite many different artists and styles, resembling Eli’s role in our school and town. We have portrayed the beauty of nature and the hope that it brings, similar to what Lee aimed to do as she created her work. Eli’s attitude towards life parallels that of the artist’s message, bringing wholeness and harmony to our community.”

The artwork features pieces by Alexandra Muller, Katie Riley, Christi Reinertsen, Erika Varady, Maggie Giles, Christina Varady, Isabellarose Malone, Emma Pipolo, Rachel Moss, Katie Burton, Sonia Chemerisov, Nicole Muszynski, Sophie Dellecave, Julia Segal, Megan McDevitt, Cailin Polishook, Francesca Greco, Caroline Hartough, Katchi Obermaier, Molly Warren, Josefina Fasolino, Claire Hannon, Sarah Grassi, Phoebe Walther, Chloe Liepa, Ashlyn Case, Alexandra McKenzie, Jahi Douglas, Yasmin Khilji-Neal, Molly Warren and Nina Danseglio.

The Heckscher Museum is open Wednesday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Town of Huntington residents are admitted free on Wednesdays after 2 p.m. and on Saturdays before 1 p.m. Proof of residency is required for free admission.

According to its website, The Heckscher Museum of Art was founded in 1920 by industrialist August Heckscher. The collection is devoted to 19th and 20th century European and American art. In addition, the Museum owns and maintains the Dove/Torr cottage, the home of famed American artist Arthur Dove and his artist-wife Helen Torr. Visit or call (631) 351-3250 for more information.

HHS Student's artwork
This artwork was created by dozens of Huntington students in honor of Eli Mollineaux.
Kasmira Mohanty
Huntington art teacher Kasmira Mohanty.
Kristin Singer
Huntington art teacher Kristin Singer.