By: Madison Schioppo
This year, the National Art Honor Society held its 15th annual induction ceremony on Thursday, March 25, 2021. The advisor of the High School East Chapter of the National Art Honor Society, Mrs. Uttendorfer, put together a wonderful live stream video for honored guests, teachers, parents, students, and friends of the arts to watch and celebrate the accomplishments and dedication of all of the students over the past two years. For over 40 years, the National Art Honor Society has served as a forum to inspire and recognize students who have shown outstanding talent and passion for art. Throughout the ongoing pandemic, the arts students have remained focused on their studies, the community, and their craft, and they have presented a deeper perspective of art into the lives of everyone at HSE. From community interest projects to innovative installations, the NAHS students have flourished in their accomplishments. The extraordinary efforts of the entire Art Department, the Director of Fine Arts, Dr. Lilla, and Mrs. Uttendorfer has cultivated an environment of high but rewarding expectations for the art students. The inductees from 2020 and 2021 were recognized for their amazing contributions to NAHS.
The program began with the introductory remarks, given by Mrs. Uttendorfer. Following that was the welcome speech by Dr. Strong. The co-Presidents of NAHS also gave a wonderful speech highlighting all of the contributions and achievements of NAHS this year. Beginning with donating food to the Jerald J. Ryan outreach center and participating in the virtual toy drive, NAHS has organized several food, clothing and toy drives in an effort to help those in need. In the fall, NAHS collected essential items for Long Island’s Harvest to contribute across the region. NAHS also hosted two virtual paint nights, with some of the proceeds going to Sunrise Day Camp. The chapter also partnered with the Art Club to create Thank You cards for all of the health workers to show appreciation for all of their hard work as we continue to fight this pandemic.
In January of 2020, NAHS kept the tradition of Art Day alive, by showcasing artists’ works and screening virtual tours of the art classrooms. NAHS partnered with a number of clubs to raise funds for Students Rebuild by creating various art projects to honor the Changemaker Challenge, where the proceeds go towards educating people throughout the United States and across the world. The students also had the opportunity to place their artwork onto various items, such as keychains and mugs, through the Art to Remember Fundraiser, allowing students to share their art with other students and their families. Proceeds from this fundraiser went to senior scholarships that were given out at the ceremony. For the 7th year, the HSE chapter partnered with the Heckscher Museum of Art and high school chapters from other districts across the island. Following the president’s address were speeches by the board members, introducing the four pillars, presenting the new inductees, and recognizing the board members’ hard work and dedication this year.
This year, NAHS presented six scholarship awards to graduating seniors who will be pursuing the arts in college. These awards represent the pillars of the honor society: Passion, Creativity, Dedication, and Integrity. In addition, three “Got Camera” awards were presented to deserving photography students. The recipient of the “Dedicated Artist” award was Samantha Rosenberg. The recipient of the “Passionate Artist” award was Natalie Schiff. Lastly, the recipient of the “Creative Artist” award was Rachel Goldstein. The “Got Camera” awards were developed by Denise Corazon, artist and former art teacher at HSE. She is also the co-founder of this society. The three deserving photographers who received this award were Madeline Marcus, Rachel Chizner, and Brooke Broder.
NASH’s theme of the year was called “Turn The Page.” It served as a constant reminder that there is always something to look forward to, and this is just the beginning, providing a positive outlet for individual expression. While this year has been unprecedented, NAHS has been able to overcome the obstacles that Covid has thrown towards them and aims to continue contributing to the community and making a positive impact through art. With this ceremony, the National Art Honor Society officially turns the page on this past year and looks ahead to brighter days.