As an artist, Paul Esposito, John Jay High School senior, has always been creating. While his artistic explorations have occupied much of this talented artist’s time, Paul has also maintained a sense of service to others.
Born in White Plains, Paul’s family moved to Katonah when he was in kindergarten, where he attended Katonah Elementary School.
From a very young age, Paul was always drawn to art. He speaks of being a young child going to restaurants with his parents looking at everything around him, wondering what he could make with it. At age 5, this curiosity would be channeled into numerous art classes, leaving Paul to admit, “I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t taking art classes.”
In elementary and middle school, Paul always looked forward to his art classes. He would use the time to explore, finding his way as an artist, and developing his chosen mediums— drawing and painting.
When Paul arrived at John Jay High School, he immediately involved himself in the art department as much as he could. Now in his senior year, he is currently enrolled in AP Drawing and Ceramics 1. While Paul typically considers himself a 2-D artist, he decided to use his senior year to explore 3-D art before moving on to college. Paul speaks highly of the art department and the dedicated teachers that make up the department, including Julie Evans-Kaser, and Amy Stockfield. In addition to the faculty, Paul speaks of the enjoyable, highly collaborative environment among his fellow art students, which allows the students in the department to “build off each other’s ideas.” During his time at John Jay, Paul has been involved in all of the school’s art shows, including both the winter and spring shows.
While at John Jay, Paul’s talent and commitment have been noticed by several members of the art department, including Stockfield, who states that he “has produced innovative work in each of [his classes]. As a student, he is reliable and open-minded, a creative thinker [who] has diverse interests.” She also says that Paul “is also supportive of his fellow art students,” and “shows great commitment to his work and growing as an artist.”
In the last year, Paul has spent much of his time focused on his portfolio. The theme of Paul’s portfolio is the idea of disconnection. He explores how people are disconnected from themselves, society, and others, especially in the aspect of emotional disconnect, and what that looks like represented in a visual medium.
As a John Jay student, Paul has seized the opportunity to mix his love of art with leadership responsibilities as he serves as the Vice President of the Art Club. For Paul, the decision to assume this leadership position was an easy one, “since I have always loved art, it was a great way to include more art in my day.” As Vice President of the Art Club, he has been overseeing the hallway mural project. Under his leadership, he and the other officers have tried to make the project more inclusive of all members of the John Jay community, not just juniors, and seniors.
In addition to his art studies at John Jay, Paul is also involved in the performing arts. In middle school, he started exploring theatre. Since arriving at John Jay, he has been involved in the school’s theatre productions, including last year’s highly popular spring musical “Guys and Dolls.” Paul is also a member of vocal jazz.
Outside of school, Paul stays active in theatre, art classes, and his church. Beyond his time spent on the stage at John Jay, Paul also participates in community theatre with The Actor’s Studio in South Salem. When not acting, he can be found taking art classes at the Katonah Art Center, in Mount Kisco. At the Katonah Art Center, Paul has been able to explore his creativity and learn from several instructors, while adding to his growing portfolio of work. Of his time at Katonah Art Center, Ms. Carole Mendelson, of the KAC, states that “[Paul] is a really nice student and a team player.” In addition to his study at the Katonah Art Center, Paul also serves as a member of the Teen Council for the Katonah Museum of Art.
Beyond theatre and art, Paul spends a great deal of time in service to his church, Emanuel Lutheran, in Pleasantville. He is not only a member of the church’s youth group but also a part of their handbell choir. As part of the handbell choir, he has traveled internationally, including to New Zealand and Australia, to attend the international handbell symposium. With the church’s service efforts, Paul went to Houston to help rebuild houses in support of Hurricane Harvey relief.
Paul also serves as an area representative to the Lutheran Youth Organization as well as a youth representative for his church’s council. “Paul is a wonderful young man who has always demonstrated incredible empathy and compassion in his duties as a youth representative,” states Glenn Frisbie, a member of Emanuel Lutheran and Paul’s mentor during his confirmation. Frisbie also says that Paul is a “caring and sensitive young man who truly cares for others.”
Planning for his future, Paul has already started applying to art colleges. This decision was cemented by his experience last summer, attending a pre-college program at the Montserrat College of Art, located in Beverly, Massachusetts. Paul spent three weeks studying subject areas such as animation, illustration, and figure drawing, earning three college credits. For Paul, it was a great experience that not only allowed him to grow his portfolio but also gave him an idea of what lies ahead for him in college. Paul has already been accepted to The Savannah College of Art and Design, also known as SCAD, and is currently weighing his options before making a final decision. In college, he intends to pursue a focus on animation. Paul’s dream job would be to do storyboard animations or possibly work as an illustrator.
Looking back, Paul states that he will always remember his experiences with the John Jay art department. He will miss the outlet the department provided for him and the sense of community that he felt among his fellow students.
Paul is the son of Darlene and Doug Esposito. Darlene is an educator, and Doug is a builder.