Celebrating Student Art

Jo Johnson, a freshman from the Bridgehampton School who will be attending East Hampton High School in the fall, with her first-place “LongHouse Lotus,” which took a blue ribbon in optical painting. Bridget LeRoy

    The sun peeked through the clouds just long enough on Monday to offer up a beautiful afternoon on the grounds of the LongHouse Reserve, where students from across Long Island were recognized for their artwork in a range of mediums.
    All of the work in the fourth LongHouse Reserve Student Annual was inspired by field trips to the art-filled gardens on Hand’s Creek Road in East Hampton.
    From a dress covered with Snapple caps, designed by Amanda Kiss, a senior at William Floyd High School, to the interpretive poetry of the Springs School fifth grade, to photography, printmaking, painting, sculpture, and more, the artists were called to the podium to receive their awards, while the students’ art was displayed on one of the LongHouse lawns.
    “I built this place to share, and I can’t think of a better way to share it,” said Jack Lenor Larsen, the textile designer who established the LongHouse Foundation, now the LongHouse Reserve, almost 20 years ago to the day.
    “I’m proud of our young artists,” said Mr. Larsen. “And I hope they will continue to be artists as they grow up. This is not about making pretty things,” he said emphatically. “This is about creativity, and learning to appreciate beauty in the world.”
    East End students won many first-place awards. At the high school level, Kelsey Slater of East Hampton High School tied for first place in mixed media (the other student was from West Babylon), Esme Ashley-White from the Ross School received top honors in the painting category for her “Tumbling Woman,” Ji Eun Kim of Ross took first place in printmaking for “The Pond,” Victoria de Lesseps of the Bridgehampton School won for design with her “Sustainable House,” and Jo Johnson, also of Bridgehampton, took first place in the optical painting category for her untitled three-dimensional lotus.
    Luis Morales also won a first place in the planning category for a proposed new LongHouse Reserve construction, a collaborative effort among students from East Hampton High School, the Ross School, and the Eastern Suffolk Board of Cooperative Education.
    “The pastoral setting along with the exceptional student artwork made this event a very special occasion,” said Lawrence Roberts, the director of unified arts at East Hampton High School. “The arts are such an important part of a child’s education and as educators we must continue to educate the whole child.”