Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant

Artists Earn Recognition in Scholastic Art & Writing Competition

Demarest, NJ: High-quality works of art, many of which were created within the Academy of the Holy Angels’ newly-renovated Genevieve Kelleher Hall, yielded 13 Gold Keys, 10 Silver Keys, and 38 Honorable Mentions for the students who entered the regional Scholastic Art and Writing Competition. Gold Keys symbolically “unlock” the recipients’ opportunity to move on to the national level of this competition.

“This is one of our larger wins in the past few years,” AHA Fine Arts Chairperson Jennifer Lee noted. “It really makes the AHA Art Department very happy to have the girls use the new facility to create these wonderful works of art.” AHA’s art teachers also include Christine Wraga DeGennaro and Kathryn Biskup.

Lee pointed out that Ruobing “Snow” Yang received three Gold Keys, including one for her photographic art portfolio, “Live, Laugh, Love.”

“The portfolio category is very competitive and select few seniors receive this award and scholarship nationally,” the educator explained.

Yang, a senior who resides in Ho-Ho-Kus, also earned Gold Keys for her photos, “Love in the Moment” and “An Approach to the Life.” She received a Silver Key for her photograph, “A Way of Life,” and Honorable Mentions for “Morning Glory in Kenya” and “Gerbera in Kenya.”

Vanessa Tamarit received three Gold Keys for her photographs, which are entitled “tomorrow will be better,” “a new york attitude,” and “endless work.” Her photo, entitled “enlightenment,” received an Honorable Mention. Tamarit is a junior who resides in North Bergen.

Senior Tyara Estrada of Kearny won two Gold Keys for her photography. Her winning entries are “Please Take Your Seat” and “Order Up.” Estrada also received three Honorable Mentions for her photos “Yellow,” “From These Heights,” and “I’m Free.”

Maria Hannoush’s photography earned her a Gold Key for her entry, “Captured,” and an Honorable Mention for “Piano Man.” This Wyckoff resident is a junior at AHA.

Hannah Velarde of Oakland took home a Gold Key for her digital artwork, “In Unity Is Our Strength.” She also received two Honorable Mentions, including one for jewelry and a second for digital art.

“Children of the Tribe,” a jewelry creation, yielded a Gold Key for Victoria Lakowski, a junior from Pearl River, New York.
Julia Elisano of Englewood Cliffs won a Gold Key for her photograph “Up, Up and Away.”

Margeaux Gould’s sculptures captured a good deal of attention this year. This senior from Weekawken received a Gold Key for her work, “Sunday Morning,” a Silver Key for “Sinking,” and two Honorable Mentions for “Draft Wood” and “Diner-Themed Chess Set.” Last year, Gould earned a Gold Key for “Nailed to the Neck,” an edgy jewelry design that ultimately earned her a National Silver Medal.

AHA’s regional Silver Key winners also include Alexa Hernandez of Spring Valley, New York, mixed media; Hannah Schultz of the Township of Washington, photography; Katelyn Spinks of Stony Point, New York, jewelry; Ji Won Yang of Edgewater, photography; and Milena Correa, a senior from Demarest. Correa received two Silver Keys, including one for her work in mixed media and another for printmaking. Correa’s printmaking also drew two Honorable Mentions. Jennifer Kim of Fort Lee won a Silver Key and an Honorable Mention for two of her sculptures. Tenafly resident Soohyun Park received a Silver Key for her painting and an Honorable Mention for drawing and illustration.

AHA artists who earned two Honorable Mentions each include: Elizabeth Braun of Oradell, drawing and illustration; Ashley Chang of Englewood Cliffs, printmaking and mixed media; Lauren Chin of Paramus, photography; Mary Haws of River Vale, drawing and illustration; Kym McGowan of Clifton, photography and jewelry; Elena Pulanco of Englewood, photography and drawing/illustration; and Ashley Toscano Vasquez of Fort Lee, photography.

The following artists received Honorable Mentions for their submissions: Elizabeth “Ellie” Anderson of Wyckoff, digital art; Allison Asselbergs of Chestnut Ridge, New York, digital art; Bridgette Colon of Englewood, photography; Katarina Katzarov of Clifton, photography; Ernestine Klecz of River Edge, drawing/illustration; Kerry Limberg of Mahwah, jewelry; Abigail Lovatt of Wood-Ridge, photography; Grace Velarde of Oakland, jewelry; and Julie Zierer of Upper Saddle River, photography.

The Scholastic Art and Writing Competition is the country’s oldest and most prestigious competition for teen artists. Notable past winners include Richard Avedon, Cy Twombly, and Zac Posen.

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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