A Day for the Arts; New Hampton School’s Arts Day 2023

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Today is a special day in the New Hampton School community. While art classrooms, stages, and studios are frequently bustling with students, it is a commendable undertaking to spend an entire day as a community focused on and engaging in the arts. Art is, after all, something for everyone. The Visual and Performing Arts Department Director Amy Wilson with the support of alumni, faculty, students, and friends, organizes this event each year. Today’s event included 27 diverse workshop offerings from mural painting to puppetry and musical theater to bargello embroidery. But first, it started with the annual art awards at school meeting.

The art awards highlighted student artists across several disciplines and mediums. From animation to musicianship, all areas were celebrated for emerging and scholarly artists alike. Please join us in congratulating all of the winners and their contributions to our community (see the listing below). Additional art awards will be shared later this month at Awards Night preceding Commencement. Congratulations to all!

Celebrating artistic expression

In addition to the workshops, students were treated to several exhibitions and performances throughout the day. Faculty members Amanda Jennison, Kyle Masterson, and Doug Thompson had the honor of warming up the crowd with a live performance at the Art Awards ceremony. Their selection of “You and Me On The Rock” by Brandi Carlisle had the audience clapping and swaying along, offering a warm start to the day.

Next, English Department Chair Luke Tobin announced the winners of the April Poetry Contest, an annual tradition in celebration of National Poetry Month. With more than 30 poems submitted this year, Mr. Tobin shared that each poem is evaluated by faculty readers without the writer’s name attached, instead assigning a number only to each piece. Honorees this year included Ella O’Neill and Laura Liebert for honorable mentions, while Ava Millerick’s “Cut Short” (3rd place), Lindsey Taylor’s “Hunger” (2nd place), and Reagan Comora’s “Small” (1st place) earned top positions. Their award-winning submissions will be shared in the days ahead.

Interspersed between the awards, to the crowd’s delight, was an animated film; a sneak peek of the spring play as Ashley and Van donned their hats as Lewis and Clark; and a heartfelt closing performance of Taylor Swift’s “The Way I Loved You” by members of Contemporary Performance Lab.

A spotlight on animation

While the business of the academic year has carried on, on the first floor of Pilalas tucked away in the animation lab, a film was being created. That film, “Kore”, debuted to the New Hampton School community this morning. The advanced animation class undertook the challenge to work on one project all year, with the goal of creating a short film. They spent countless hours storyboarding, drawing, scoring, and polishing the piece with many detours and changes along the way. “Kore” shares an interpretation of the Hades and Persephone tale—a story born from Greek mythology about the underworld lord’s abduction of and love for the goddess of spring. Ella O’Neill and Gus Kusch had the honor of introducing the film, while also offering their thanks to fellow animators Kristy Kong and Angel Riu, their advisors Kyle Masterson, Amy Wilson, Ryan Daye, and Bradley Jarvis, and the faculty members from the Walt Disney Family Museum [WDFM]. Lastly, they offered their thanks to Julie Pereira for her support, planning, and illustrations that were integral to their yearlong efforts. This was a work that, as they shared, taught them not only about the process of animation, but also about the importance of collaboration, cooperation, and humor in the workplace.

We were also grateful to have three members of the Walt Disney Family Museum on campus today to present the animation awards and participate in Arts Day. Travis Lacina noted that in addition to the awards today, this class of students also received a Certificate of completion from WDFM and shared that their work is also currently on display at the museum in San Francisco. This year marks our 7th year in partnership with WDFM in bringing animation to the classroom. Thank you, Travis, Anita, and Grace for your expertise and visit today!

A day just for the arts

Following an all-school meeting recognizing student artists with awards in performing art and visual arts, students and faculty dispersed to their selected workshops for morning and afternoon sessions. Favorites such as special effects make-up, guitar, and hip-hop dance, worked in concert with visiting professional artists such as Akwaaba who performed during the lunchtime cookout. In addition to our faculty, staff members also led workshops, while alumna Sophie Pankhurst ’22 returned to share her talents in leading the Musical Theatre workshop. The diversity of the arts available reminded us of the incredible range and effect that visual and performing art touches. New Hampton School is grateful for the support of all the workshop leaders and the support of the school community to partake in this tradition each spring.

Pictures from Arts Day are now available on Flickr, and more will be shared in the days ahead

2023 Art Awards

Congratulations to the following students who were recognized with Art Awards:

Excellence in Graphic Design Award: Nellie MacDonald ’26
Steward of the Studio Award: Paige Young ’23, Victoria Butler ’23
Excellence in Ceramics Awards: Brenna Young ’23, MJ Firth ’23
Emerging Artist Award: Asa Gilman ’26
Artistic Vision Award: Kristy Kong ’24
Scholar in the Studio: Jerry Chen ’24
Excellence in Animation Award: Gus Kusch ’24, Ella O’Neill ’24
Emerging Artist in Photography Award: Grady Moore ’25
Portfolio Award in Photography: Nate Novitsky ’23
Portfolio Award in Studio Art: Paul Tang ’23
Best Behind the Scenes Award: Moriah Smith ’24
Distinguished Performer Award: Alex Lowe ’23
Director’s Award: Ashley Holland ’24
Most Improved Musician Award: Max Welty ’23
Music Citizenship Award: Emily Hansen ’24
Career Musician Award: Miles Sargent ’25
Whole Artist Award: Gus Kusch ’24

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