Cranston students garner top art awards


Pablo Picasso said, "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."

Based on the talent that resides here in Cranston, and the hard work displayed by these students, remaining true to their artistic roots may not be too difficult.

For the fourth consecutive year, the Dorrance H. Hamilton Gallery at Salve Regina University in Newport hosted the Rhode Island Scholastic Art Awards exhibit. It was a small sampling of the brightest young talent working in middle and high school art programs across Rhode Island. This annual show features more than 100 examples of student work in drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, ceramics, sculpture and design.

Students whose work earned a Gold Key rating are sent on to the national judging in New York City, to be held over Memorial Day weekend. There were 10 gold keys awarded to Cranston students overall, and 16 silver keys. Gabriel Bielawski, a senior at Cranston East, won the coveted “Senator Reed Best in Show” award in the mixed media category, for a self-portrait.

“I would like to congratulate the 17 students that participated in the Scholastic Art Awards. We received seven awards as a school and I could not be more proud of these students. They have done a fantastic job and have upheld the tremendous tradition of Cranston East,” said East Principal Sean Kelly.

Kelly’s counterpart at Cranston West, Principal Tom Barbieri, is equally impressed with the students’ achievements.

“I am extremely proud of our students at Cranston High School West,” he said. “They have demonstrated another reason of what makes a good school great. They have earned the respect of their peers and community through art.”

Alexandra Smith-Bruzzi was presented with an American Vision Nominee for her drawing, “Baegone,” My Grandma.

District Superintendent, Dr. Judith Lundsten offered her congratulations to everyone involved.

"The talent and creativity demonstrated by our students is outstanding. When I look at their art, I am in awe. Congratulations to all of Cranston's Scholastic Art recipients, to their families and to their teachers,” she said. 

Jill Cyr, the program director for the art department in Cranston, praised the art teachers in the district for their help and support of the students.

The district art teachers are: Cranston East: Jill Cyr, Mary Ann Schultheis and Marty Russell; Cranston West: Heidi Copeman, Valerie Bruzzi, Claudia Venditto and Barbara Voccola; Bain: Lisa Erb; Park View: Alicia Hawkins; Western Hills: Cathy Cox and Gloria Budz.

Cranston High School East:

Gabriel Bielawski: Gold Key, Art – Mixed Media – Self-Portrait

Giulia Davis: Gold Key, Art – Drawing – Self-Portrait

Giulia Davis: Gold Key, Art Portfolio – The Becoming

Julia Lawson: Silver Key, Art – Painting – Julia

Sandra Lopez-naz: Gold Key, Art – Drawing – Color Wheel Self-Portrait

Sandra Lopez-naz: Silver Key, Art – Mixed Media – Turnip

Jamall Osterholm: Gold Key, Portfolio – Drawing – Snake Woman

Monica Phan: Silver Key, Art – Mixed Media – Self-Portrait

Emma St. Jean: Silver Key, Art – Drawing – Iceland

Cranston High School West:

Amy Andrews: Gold Key, Art – Drawing – Anime Pride

Francesca Branca: Silver Key, Art – Jewelry – Bead Works

Serena Colizza: Silver Key, Art – Fashion – Elizabethan Armour

Nicholas Corry: Silver Key, Art – Drawing – Live Wire

Annette Deion: Silver Key, Art – Drawing – Meet My Evil Twin, Wrath

Jillian Kelshaw: Silver Key, Art – Drawing – My Grandfather

Alexandra Pizzuti: Gold Key, Portfolio – Drawing – On The Gurney

Alexandra Smith: Gold Key, America Visions Nominee – Art – Drawing – “Baegone,” My Grandma

Austen Tiburcio: Silver Key, Art – Sculpture – Fragile. Face Up.

Park View Middle School:

Joseph Healey: Silver Key, Art – Painting – Self-Portrait

Brenna Rojek: Gold Key, Art – Painting – Fruitilicious

Alexia White: Silver Key, Art – Mixed Media – One Keeps a Secret While Others Tell Lies

Hugh B. Bain Middle School:

Laney Kong: Silver Key, Art – Mixed Media – Purple Lady, After Picasso

Rosemary Savath: Silver Key, Art – Painting – Cubist Pears In Blue

Leah Struminsky: Silver Key, Art – Painting – Abstract Still Life with Ukelele

Instructor: Lisa Erb

Western Hills Middle School:

Marina Moceri: Gold Key, Art – Painting Mixed – Lipstick Trees

Keara Pedroso: Silver Key, Art – Mixed Media – “Kaleigh’s Flowers”


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