Preston, Citibank celebrate student art achievements

(L-r) Award winners Kiara Fermaintt, Sumon Shazad, Carlene Gonzalez, Tiza Farmer, Jennifer Penate, and Christina De Ortentiis at Preston High School’s Senior Class Artists award ceremony on Thursday, March 26. Photo by Victor Chu

On Thursday, March 26 some very talented high school art students received awards for their artwork hanging in Citibank at 3924 E. Tremont Avenue.

Seniors from Preston High School, along with one junior, were presented with certificates honoring their paintings and graphic art on display.

In addition to the 38 art exhibition finalists who were presented with citations at the after-school event inside the branch, four special awards for the best artwork created during class time in Preston’s art program were also distributed.

“This year is very special because we introduced digital and graphic art into the Senior Class Artists Show,” said Preston art teacher Kristen Horvath. “We did this while maintaining traditional classical art.”

The artwork included different types of mediums such as oil painting, hand-drawn illustrations, and digitally modified photographs. This competition has been occurring every year for the past five years.

“This art work has been here in the bank since the beginning of March,” said branch manager Patricia Fournier, who is an alumnus of Preston. “Many customers had really good things to say about the artwork. They all were curious and it was very inspiring to see the patrons always inquiring about the artwork.”

A representative from Preston said that part of the reason that the school decided to approach Citibank is that the branch is always active in the community and was delighted to display student artwork. Councilman Jimmy Vacca took time out of his busy schedule to attend the awards ceremony.

One Preston student said she felt that her artwork allowed her to get in touch with a wellspring of creativity.

“One of the paintings took just one class period and a little time in the afternoon to finish,” said Tiza Farmer, whose artwork received an honorable mention in the Best of Show competition. “I saw another side of my personality that I don’t normally show much of when I created the artwork.”

The Best of Show award for technical mastery was given to Carlene Gonzalez; the thinking outside of the box creativity award went to Kiara Fermaintt; senior Sumon Shazad won the lightning bolt award for bold colors and extreme values; and the artistic intelligence award went to Christina De Ortentiis.

Honorable mentions went to Farmer and Jennifer Penate.

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