Pick a medium, any medium–these students excel in Morristown art show, through May 4

'Helical,' by Madison-Bui, Whippany Park HS, at the 2018 Blackwell Street Student Show in Morristown. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
'Helical,' by Madison-Bui, Whippany Park HS, at the 2018 Blackwell Street Student Show in Morristown. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
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By Nicholas Voltaggio

Entering the Blackwell Street Juried Student Show for the first time is a breathtaking experience.

'Let Them Eat Cake' by Choral Coad, Mendham HS, at the 2018 Blackwell Street Student Show in Morristown. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
‘Let Them Eat Cake’ by Choral Coad, Mendham HS, at the 2018 Blackwell Street Student Show in Morristown. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.

Every nook and cranny on four floors of Morristown’s Atrium Gallery pops with exciting and vibrant art.

Some 400 pieces were chosen from almost 800 submissions by high school artists from across Morris County, according to Dr. Lynn L. Siebert, director of the gallery and of arts participation and communication for Morris Arts.

Friday’s opening reception celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Blackwell show, which awards ribbons and cash prizes, along with bragging rights, in several categories. A new category is “Art Completed with Wood.” Many larger-than-life multimedia pieces steal the show.

Slideshow photos by Jeff Sovelove:

'Helical,' by Madison-Bui, Whippany Park HS, at the 2018 Blackwell Street Student Show in Morristown. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
'Thermal Self Portrait,' by Maya Howard, Mendham HS, at the 2018 Blackwell Street Student Show in Morristown. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
'Shadows,' by Julia Fettanti of Madison HS, at the 2018 Blackwell Street Student Show in Morristown. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
Kevin Kahwaty receives best in show award at the 2018 Blackwell Street Student Show in Morristown. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
Kevin Kahwaty’s handbuilt ceramic, 'Anubis,' at the 2018 Blackwell Street Student Show in Morristown. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
Jacob Grayzel, Delbarton, with his self portrait 'Prince,' at the 2018 Blackwell Street Student Show in Morristown. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
'Pocket Watch,' by Kyra Conville, Jefferson Twp HS, at the 2018 Blackwell Street Student Show in Morristown. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
'Effervescence,' by Lukas Scheidl, Mendham HS, at the 2018 Blackwell Street Student Show in Morristown. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
'Grandpa's Spirit,' by Malissa Gambino, Whippany Park HS, at the 2018 Blackwell Street Student Show in Morristown. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
'Let Them Eat Cake' by Choral Coad, Mendham HS, at the 2018 Blackwell Street Student Show in Morristown. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
'Self Portrait,' by Michael Harper, Delbarton, at the 2018 Blackwell Street Student Show in Morristown. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
'Malevolent,' by Alexandra Onorati, Morris Hills HS, at the 2018 Blackwell Street Student Show in Morristown. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
Students at the 2018 Blackwell Street Student Show in Morristown. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
'Caramel Dollar' by Mikael Mahoney, Butler HS, at the 2018 Blackwell Street Student Show in Morristown. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
Meets the Sky,' by Vivian Lee, Madison HS, at the 2018 Blackwell Street Student Show in Morristown. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
'Jelly on the Brain,' by Jessica Murr, Mount Olive HS, at the 2018 Blackwell Street Student Show in Morristown. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
'Broken,' by Emma Janssen, Madison HS, at the 2018 Blackwell Street Student Show in Morristown. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
Daphne Nydam accepts a First Place prize at the 2018 Blackwell Street Student Show in Morristown. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
'The Organic City,' by Anneai Zheng, Mount Olive HS, at the 2018 Blackwell Street Student Show in Morristown. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
Elaine Provost addresses the crowd at the 2018 Blackwell Street Student Show in Morristown. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
Students and parents at the 2018 Blackwell Street Student Show in Morristown. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
'Rudy,' by Daphne Nydam, Mendham HS, at the 2018 Blackwell Street Student Show in Morristown. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
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Madison Bui,Whippany Park HS, Helical - 'Helical,' by Madison-Bui, Whippany Park HS, at the 2018 Blackwell Street Student Show in Morristown. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
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A notable example, by Mendham High School student Coral Coad, is a meticulously detailed diorama entitled Let Them Eat Cake. Inspired by the French Revolution, it brought home the first place prize for Coad in the multimedia category.

The winner of the colored pencil category, Randolph High School student Emma Swayze , also astonished onlookers with her piece, New Beginnings. Kevin Kawate, an artist specializing in sculpture and ceramics, was awarded the coveted Best in Show prize.

Support from friends and family is pivotal for young artists. A group of friends from the Delbarton School–a big winner of the night–spoke to Morristown Green about their experiences leading up to the event.

Jacob Grayzel of Delbarton, with his work 'Mountain' at the Blackwell Street Student Show in Morristown. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
Jacob Grayzel of Delbarton, with his work ‘Mountain’ at the Blackwell Street Student Show in Morristown. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.

Juniors Jacob Grayzel and CJ Gasser were first-time participants. Grayzel received an honorable mention for his watercolor piece, Mountain. Inspired by the scenic landscapes of his family’s annual vacations, he took an artistic risk by venturing into a new medium.

Gasser submitted two photos and one acrylic painting to the show. He, along with Grayzel, emphasized that although the work was stressful– they were “crunched for time” with snow days cancelling classes–their teacher and classmates encouraged them to make the best pieces they possibly could.

This exhibition has many more creations, in more mediums, than can be described here. Luckily, you have time to discover them for yourself.

The exhibit runs through May 4, 2018. The Atrium Gallery is free and open to the public during business hours, from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, Monday-Friday.  The show is presented by the Blackwell Street Center for the Arts, in cooperation with Morris Arts, with a hand from Joanne Del Rio and her assistants from Novartis.

Morristown Green correspondent Nicholas Voltaggio is a freshman at Morristown High School.

'Thermal Self Portrait,' by Maya Howard, Mendham HS, at the 2018 Blackwell Street Student Show in Morristown. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
‘Thermal Self Portrait,’ by Maya Howard, Mendham HS, at the 2018 Blackwell Street Student Show in Morristown. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
 

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