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Sam Droney's Photography Selected for Fresh Perspectives 2020

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Lulu Mubarak '20
5 May 2020

Sam Droney's 2020 Fresh Perspectives piece Film Photography student Sam Droney’s photograph (right) was selected for the 2020 Fresh Perspectives art exhibit. Photography Teacher Ms. Melanie Vasa was pleased to hear the news as being accepted is an impressive achievement. “I am so happy for Sam. He is a wonderful person and deserves this,” Ms. Vasa said.

The Morris Museum’s Fresh Perspectives 2020 was held virtually with 390 pieces submitted overall. Of these compositions, 50 were selected to be presented to judges for exhibition. This year judges were Danielle Bursk, Director of Artist Services for the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and Lisa Suss, Visual Arts Manager for JCC Metrowest and active professional artist. 

Art shows and exhibits are perfect events for displaying Passaic Valley students’ artwork to the larger community. Teachers in the Art Department continually search for opportunities to submit student work to contests, exhibitions, and galleries. When a student’s work is accepted, it is a huge source of pride and validation for both the student and school alike.

For at least ten years, Passaic Valley students have been participating in the Pingry School Invitational Art Show. In addition to the Pingry School, Passaic Valley has also cooperated with the Art Start show at William Paterson University, which Ms. Vasa discovered through her high school art teacher. Students and families are especially fond of this show because of its location in the college gallery. Many people have also like the different venues and talents these art shows offer. George Segal Gallery at Montclair State University and the Morris Museum, for example, are popular venues that have acknowledged PV students’ artwork on many occasions.

Passaic Valley’s diverse Art Department consists of different artistic mediums that students can explore and pursue, such as photography, sculpture, drawing, painting, graphic imaging, etc. However, many shows and exhibitions limit submission to 2D work. So art teachers who work with 3D pieces are faced with a bigger challenge when showcasing their students’ work. Art Teacher Ms. Corine Cezpiel makes up for this gap by having her students participate in various design challenges and competitions like the Vans Sneaker Design Challenge. 

Ms. Vasa explained the importance of putting artwork out into the world: “I know that for myself, as an artist, there is such excitement seeing my photos or sculptures on a gallery wall. We might make our art for ourselves, but it is also a communication of our expression and it is important for students to take part in that communication.”