12 Win Best in Show at LI Media Arts

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Twelve talented students from the high school were awarded “Best in Show” at the 2017 Long Island Media Arts Show, recognizing their creativity and hard work in the fields of video as well as visual arts such as photography. The competition was held on March 31 at Five Towns College’s Performing Arts Center in Dix Hills.

“The Media Arts Show really stepped up its production values this year,” said teacher James Connell. “There were several interactive experiences that the students who attended could engage with. We had students taking film classes, as well as students joining live television and radio broadcasts throughout the day.”

Best in Show winners from Connell’s video production classes were writer/directors Steven Murello and Kaela Sanders. Murello won for “Old Soul,” a film about a young man making a connection to his grandfather's past; it starred Eddie Sallie and Brook Helmsorig. Sanders earned her prize for “Handsprings,” a music video film inspired by current punk rock music; it starred Kathryn Bingham and Kyle Bishop.

“As always, our students represented their craft well,” said Connell. “Coming home with two video Best in Show awards was great, and the other videos submitted by seniors Tom Murphy and Kara Tejada were also very well received by the judges and audiences at the show. I am extremely proud of the hard work and extra effort my students put in each year, helping East Islip High School shine at this event,” said Connell.

Participating visual arts students came from Joy Taylor's and Heather Toomey's photography classes, Jen Geduldig's electronic illustration classes, Liz Gibbons' 2D design classes and Dan Figliozzi's AP drawing classes.

Best in Show visual arts winners included Sanders as well as Alexa Benitez, Defne Duyku, Sarah Hillman, Destiny Kohlhepp, Stone Locke, Tristan Makinen, Kara Tejada, Zoe Stengel, Damian Vargas and Sam Zimmer.

“We had a record number of students attend as well as receive Best in Show awards this year, and even the judges noticed how East Islip had a powerful presence at this year’s show,” said Toomey. “I am proud of all the students that participated, as it is not easy to take criticism from professionals, and they all took advice and criticism with poise and professionalism.”

“This was a very good opportunity get feedback from professionals to improve my work,” said Amanda Seegers.

“It was a lot of fun to look at artwork from other students across Long Island to get inspiration,” added Chris Palmer.

“I was nervous at first, presenting my photographs, but in the end, the evaluator feedback was really helpful,” said Sarah Renner, from Joy Taylor’s class.

“This was my first year attending, and I was nervous about putting myself in such a vulnerable position with my artwork,” said Kendra Canavan. “It was a little overwhelming, but I made friends and was asking more evaluators to look at my work by the end of the day. I was proud to be a part of this event.”