February 2019
Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant

AHA Artists Receive Regional Key Awards, Recognition for Art

Demarest, NJ: Students artists from the Academy of the Holy Angels have received regional recognition in the Scholastic Art & Writing Competition, the country’s oldest and most prestigious competition for teens. Entrants from Holy Angels garnered nine Gold Key awards, 12 Silver Key awards, and 22 Honorable Mentions.

This year, eight students won nine Gold Key awards, which “unlock” their opportunity to compete at the national level. Gold Key winners include Allison Asselbergs of Chestnut Ridge, New York; Diana Esoldi of Englewood Cliffs; Kirsten Garino of Oradell; Ernestine Klecz of River Edge; Kerry Limberg of Mahwah; Soohyun Park of Tenafly; Eungyo “Ivy” Shin of Harrington Park; and Vanessa Tamarit of North Bergen, who received two Gold Key awards.

Four artists earned Gold Key awards for their photographic works. Asselbergs, a member of the AHA Class of 2019, was honored for her photo, “Cousin.” She also earned an Honorable Mention for her photo, “Sustain.” Esoldi, an AHA junior, was recognized for her photo, “The Dinner Party.” Shin was recognized for “Quietude.”

Tamarit’s images, “genderqueer in blue” and “street vendor” both drew Gold Key awards. Tamarit also earned a Silver Key for her digital artwork, “prisoner to technology,” and three Honorable Mentions for a trio of photos, including “bodega blues,” “lost in translation,” and “overlooked.”

Senior Kirsten Garino brought home a Gold Key for her sculpture, “World in Hand.” Her work, “Athenian Summer,” earned her an Honorable Mention in the drawing/illustration category.

Ernestine Klecz received her Gold Key for “Korona,” a drawing she produced while studying art at the Rhode Island School of Design’s summer program.

Kerry Limberg’s painting, “Royale with Cheese,” garnered a Gold Key, as did Soohyun Park’s painting, “Spaghetti Spool.” In addition, Park earned three Silver Key awards and two Honorable Mentions for her paintings and drawings.
Silver Key awards were presented to AHA photographers Hyerin “Sally” Chung of Closter, who also received an Honorable Mention in painting; Erin Maron of Oradell; Hannah Schultz of the Township of Washington, who received two awards; Nicole Tasca of Leonia; and Hannah Velarde of Oakland. Silver awards also went to sculptors Sul Gi “Sophie” Jin of Cresskill and Jennifer Kim of Fort Lee.

Artists who received Honorable Mentions include photographers Sophia Boudakian of Alpine, Claire Dodds of Cresskill, Kristina Gatto (2) and Jenna Feger of the Township of Washington, and Kate Pellegrino of Leonia. Haram Kim of Harrington Park drew three Honorable Mentions for her paintings, and Grace Velarde of Oakland received Honorable Mentions for her painting and drawing/illustration.

The AHA Art Department includes Fine Arts Chairperson Jennifer Lee and teachers Kathryn Biskup and Christine Wraga DeGennaro.

Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County. While AHA is steeped in Catholic tradition, this prestigious high school serves young women from a broad spectrum of cultural and religious backgrounds. Over time, thousands of women have passed through AHA’s portals. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts, and athletics. The Academy’s current leaders continue to further the SSND mission to provide each student with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, by offering a first-rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity, and service to others.


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