Heckscher Exhibit Showcases Island's 'Best Young Artists'

By Sophia Ricco

Students from 62 high schools across Long Island were recently presented a challenge to produce a work of art inspired by other artwork.

That challenge produced 385 submissions of varying styles and mediums, and the most exceptional pieces are now featured in the “Long Island’s Best: Young Artists” exhibit that’s on view at Heckscher Art Museum in Huntington through April 15.

“It’s very challenging because there are a lot of really excellent works that are submitted,” Lisa Chalif, a curator at the 2 Prime Ave. museum, said. “The students are so talented so it is a challenging job to select just 80 works.”

Chalif juried the exhibit along with guest juror and artist Doug Reina.

When selecting pieces, Chalif said she viewed both the artwork and a statement submitted by students. The artists’ statements described their inspiration and creative process. After review, Chalif would determine if the student met the challenge.

The ultimate goal of the exhibit is to provide students an educational opportunity in the arts.

“It’s a wonderful experience for the students to go through the process,” Chalif said. “This is what artists do. If they are going to pursue the arts, artists have to figure out how to get their work seen and shown by submitting their work to juried exhibitions.”

Inspiration was drawn from works on display at the museum. Each student took in their selected piece and came up with a means to make it their own. The works of art chosen ranged from sculptures to digital creations to oil paintings.

“What’s remarkable about this exhibition is that we will get potentially many works that are inspired by the same piece, but all of them are very different,” Chalif said.

The final day of display for the exhibit will also feature a meet-up with the young artists from 3-5 p.m. There will also be pizza. The meet-up is open to all, but museum officials ask that RSVPs to be sent by April 10 to info@heckscher.org.

The Grumbacher Visitors Choice Award will also be awarded during the meet-up. Those who view the exhibit before April 8 can vote.

In the 22 years the annual exhibit has been held, the amount of the artwork featured has remained around the same, but the amount of submissions and schools have greatly increased, according to Chalif. In her 10 years working with the exhibit, Chalif said, she has seen the merit of work improve as well.

Editor's note: Lisa Chalif is the curator of the “Long Island’s Best: Young Artists” exhibit.
An earlier version of this story and its print version in the April 5, 2018 issue
 of Huntington Weekly mistakenly stated otherwise.