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APRIL 2019
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Jennifer Crusco
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Artists Earn Silver Medals in National Competition

Demarest, NJ:Bergen County artists Soohyun Park of Tenafly and Diana Esoldi of Englewood Cliffs have earned silver medals in the national Scholastic Art and Writing Competition.

Both winners are students at the Academy of the Holy Angels, and gained entry to the national event after winning Gold Key awards in the regional competition.

Park was recognized for her painting, “Spaghetti Spool,” in which she substituted spaghetti for thread.

“This painting was inspired by my imagined replacement of real-life objects with out-of-place items of similar shapes,” the AHA senior explained. “I intended to create an odd, comical scene with a hint of surrealism by switching the thread with spaghetti noodles inside a very ordinary tailor store.”

Park created her award-winning panting while studying with Yoon Jeun Kim in an independent studio art program.
“I enjoy that I can do whatever I want to do when creating art,” Park said of her artistic endeavors.

She plans to study graphic design in college. Park has been accepted to Pratt Institute and Parsons School of Design, and is awaiting word from additional colleges before she decides where she will be studying this fall.

Esoldi received a silver medal for her photograph, “The Dinner Party.” The AHA junior explained that she was inspired by her family’s dinner parties.
“After attending these parties, my sister and I noticed that everyone there had their own agenda and would ‘do their own thing.’ Eventually, we turned this into a fun hobby. Whenever we would get bored at these family gatherings, we would sit back and observe everyone's unique personalities,” Esoldi explained.

When AHA Fine Arts Chairperson Jennifer Lee assigned a clone-themed photography project, Esoldi ironically opted to use clones to illustrate what she noticed at family’s parties: Everyone is unique. Esoldi even enlisted her sister Juliana (AHA Class of 2018) as her subject.

“(Juliana) understood my vision perfectly, and seeing as she was also a student of Ms. Lee's, I thought that it would be pretty funny if she saw my sister doing all of these crazy poses,” the artist said.

“Once my photo started to come together, my classmates and I noticed the humor in it,” Esoldi added. “I decided that my final photo truly portrayed what I intended it to -- the many personalities and emotions that people have. I thought that it was one of my best pieces, so eventually it was submitted to the competition.”

Esoldi shared that she enjoys expressing herself through art. She noted, “I have always looked to art as a release and a physical representation of all of my emotions.”

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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