Seniors Picked for ‘APE’ Exhibit

 Four Seniors Picked for ‘APE’ Exhibit

High school seniors Hanna Benardos, Max Calarco, Genevieve Imhof and Gia Piazza – all enrolled in Daniel Figliozzi’s AP Studio Art 2D Design class – were selected for the Art League of Long Island’s 12th annual Go APE Advanced Placement Exhibition, which showcases exceptional work by art students from all over Long Island. The show, displayed at the Art League’s Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery, runs from Feb. 16 through March 3, culminating in a closing artists’ reception and awards presentation on March 3.

“These four students are exceptional,” said Figliozzi. “They each have a unique vision and demonstrate a variety of strong technical abilities in their chosen craft, whether it be traditional drawing, digital photography, fashion illustration or digital illustration. I have no doubt that they will do something creative in their futures.”

All four East Islip seniors plan to attend art school in the fall and are in the process of finishing applying and committing to schools.

Benardos plans to attend fashion school and is leaning toward the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles or the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Known for her unique vision aligned with her creative and humorous personality, she is exploring feminism and freedom of expression in her designs this year as well as concepts that may be considered taboo or unconventional. Her “Go APE” artwork, for example, is an empowering and challenging visual work for women.

“I am extremely grateful for my teachers and peers who pushed me to become the best artist I can be,” said Benardos. “This year, I have learned to be more confident with my work and being picked to display my art in the ‘Go APE’ show was a huge honor. My work displays gender equality and fluidity throughout fashion and photography, which to me is a concept that relates to what is going on today. Individuals should feel comfortable in their own skin.”

Max Calarco, an accomplished illustrator and cartoonist with a knack for humor, will major in digital art and design at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida. His current works showcase his breadth of knowledge, depicting invented cartoon characters that are drawn inside real-world environments. The piece chosen for “Go APE,” titled “Electric Byte,” features a glowing blue snake about to attack its prey.

“I’m excited to be a part of this showcase with so many other talented artists,” said Calarco. “I believe that this piece is one of my strongest works so far because it depicts lighting very accurately. I also really enjoy the energy and excitement the piece gives off.”

Imhof will attend the College of New Rochelle, studying art education. Her specialty, as displayed in her work “Bound,” is creating photorealistic drawings and paintings.

“I feel very honored to be a part of this whole experience as I’ve never been a part of anything like it before,” said Imhof. “It’s very surreal to have my work showcased for everyone on Long Island to see. I’m extremely thankful for this opportunity.”

Piazza plans to pursue photography in college. She has been acclaimed for her strong eye for composition and lighting, and her dynamic triptychs such as “Angles of Adventure,” which showcases the angles and complexities of an everyday bicycle. Piazza is currently exploring movement and shutter speed in her works.