Thirty-four Watchung Hills Regional High School students were inducted into the National Art Honor Society on the evening of Nov. 13.
Incoming guests, on their way to the installation ceremony in the auditorium, saw ample evidence of their various talents—oil paintings, photography, water colors, ink sketches, jewelry, and so on.
Welcoming remarks were made by Vincent Colabella, Hills photography teacher.
Guest speaker Asha Johnson was “home grown.” She graduated from Watchung Hills in 2001, continued her education, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (2006) and a master’s (2010) in the same area, both at Montclair State University. Johnson, who has exhibited extensively in the New York metropolitan area, said that she sees movement and motion as essential to her work.
The inductees were introduced to the audience by Art Department members Joan Thomson and Vincent Colabella who, with Principal George Alexis, distributed certificates and lapel pins to the newly-appointed members of the Society.
They are Jacquelyn Salustro (president of the chapter), Catarina Santos (vice president), Jordyn Danielson (secretary), Anika Fanlo (public relations), Audrey Luo (legacy chair), Valentina Viclusin, Catherine Daly (gallery co-chairs).
Other new members include Mark DiDonna, Ariana Sluyter, Elyssa Rudnitsky, Sruchika Sabu, Taylor Lyons, Jose Varela, Leanne Block, Amanda Wedwaldt, Deborah Liaw, Jacquelyn Mattaliano, Tori Ciampa, Vincent Chang.
Also Timothy Sinott, Patrick Skowronski, Renee McKenna, Joyce Samarina, Jessica Xu, Rachel Gallic, Hao Yan Li, Kristy Huang, Annika Chan, Patrick Gray, Sheree Liu, Neha Agrawal, Haley Rawson, Morgan Hoover and Daniel Pedroso.
President Salustro made a brief statement about the National Arts Honor Society before closing remarks.
The National Art Honor Society, founded in 1978, was initiated at Watchung Hills in 2007. The honors group, which is sponsored by the National Art Educators Association, goes beyond recognizing students with outstanding ability in the arts. It encourages them to help increase artistic and aesthetic awareness in the community outside of school, and to mentor others and help develop their artistic skills.
Students must apply yearly for membership, a rigorous procedure. Applicants must be in the third level of a sequential program (for example, Fine Arts III, Photography III) and must be endorsed by an arts educator who is in good standing with the National Art Educators Association. Applicants are required to write two essays, one autobiographical and one about an artist they admire. They also require the recognition of four teachers or mentors, and must have a grade point average of 3.2 overall, and a 3. 75 average in art. They must also have displayed a piece of their work in a local venue, for example, a bank, retail outlet, library, professional office.
Most of the applicants will also have participated in and won awards in professionally adjudicated programs. They will have been involved in service efforts, such as school beautification and working with autistic children in summer camps or hospitals.