Senior Artists Selected for Go APE

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High school seniors Hailee Cornell, Alyssa Huss, Jessica Montijo and Leah Neville were chosen for the Art League of Long Island’s 13th annual Go APE Advanced Placement Exhibition, which highlights outstanding work by art students from across Long Island. Displayed at the Art League’s Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery in Dix Hills, the show will run from Feb. 15 through March 1. The four students, all enrolled in Daniel Figliozzi’s AP Art and Design classes, will attend a closing artists’ reception and awards presentation on March 1.

“These extremely talented students are four of the most hardworking and committed artists I've ever met,” Figliozzi said. “Each has a unique vision and demonstrates a variety of strong technical abilities in their chosen craft, and I have no doubt they will all pursue creative pathways in their future. I’m excited for them to exhibit with some of the most talented student-artists on Long Island and proud to see them showcase their work to a larger community.”

Cornell plans to attend Alfred University’s School of Art and Design this fall. She has been awarded their highest merit scholarship, the Art Portfolio Scholarship, a renewable award of $14,000 for up to four years, and was also recognized as a Miller Portfolio Scholar, a $5,000 annual award recognizing an elite group of talented artists. Hailee will begin Alfred's intense Foundations program this fall, which will allow her to broaden her already successful art practice. Cornell’s Go APE piece, “Peanut Butter and Caramel,” is a photorealistic colored pencil drawing, part of a body of artwork that showcases traditionally executed portraits that have been obstructed by various textures and materials. At first glance, her works appear very literal but upon further inspection, explore ideas relating to tension, friction and frustration.”

“As Hailee continues her art education at Alfred, she will certainly become an important asset to their community as she has been here at our high school,” said teacher Elizabeth Gibbons.

“It is an honor to represent East Islip’s art department in this show,” Cornell said. “The teachers have helped me grow so much and develop my craft. I am truly pleased to be a part of this wonderful art community.”

Huss is a skilled illustrator, character designer, draftswoman, sculptor and painter. She plans to work for her uncle’s Los Angeles production company, Molecule Productions, after graduation, using her multiple creative talents to help with set design, fashion and make-up for a horror movie he is producing. “Release II,” her Go APE selection, is a large-scale mixed media piece that explores tension and release through self-portraiture. The work connects to a larger idea she is exploring in her art that relates to the concept “what lies beneath” and how that idea can be conveyed both literally and metaphorically.

“Art has been my passion for my whole life,” Huss said. “It gives me the confidence and balance that I need to keep myself going. Having the power to decide what happens in my world, to see how my skills can develop and grow over time, is truly empowering." 

Montijo has shown a strong sense of design and the ability to master any medium. As a junior, she explored digital manipulation of nature photography in AP 2D Design. This year, she has delved into various traditional and unconventional painting techniques, including making her own natural pigments. Montijo is creating sustainable architecture structures for her AP Drawing exam this year, using a variety of reclaimed and recycled materials. She plans to pursue architecture next year at the New York Institute of Technology and has received a $25,000 annual merit award. Full of rich color and expressive marks, Montijo’s self-portrait featured in Go APE displays her confidence in exploring new painting techniques. 

An accomplished illustrator, cartoonist and animator, Neville plans to enroll in the animation program at New York City’s School of Visual Arts this fall, where she can pursue her passion for character design and animation. Her Go APE artwork, the acrylic painted illustration “Sailing in the Clouds,” depicts a daydreaming young girl floating over the light of the moon. Vibrant in color and whimsically rendered, it demonstrates Neville’s ability to create imaginative environments and worlds to explore.

“To be a part of this gallery show is an absolute honor,” Neville said. “I’m extremely grateful that my work will be presented with other amazingly talented artists.”