MADISON, NJ—Two Madison High School seniors each received a $100 scholarship Tuesday for outstanding achievement in art at Madison’s 12th annual district-wide art show at the College of Saint Elizabeth. 

Lydia Mutone won the Madison High School Senior Art Award for drawing and painting, an award typically geared toward accomplishment in classical and fine arts, according to Stacy Snider, District Supervisor of Visual and Performing Arts.

The Senior Photography Award went to Jesse Harris.

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“Photography has a huge program at the high school that has really grown over the past few years,” Snider said. 

Harris is an advanced photography student on his way to Lesley University College of Art and Design in Cambridge, Mass.

“My photographs began as a means of documentation of the places I’ve been,” Harris said. “They serve as a photo album of my life. I enjoy shooting landscapes and have been inspired by the amazing works of Ansel Adams.”

Madison High School Principal Greg Robinson also made an appearance at the art show and congratulated the two winners, whose works were displayed at the show’s entrance for all to see. Winners were chosen by the high school’s art teachers.

Mutone and Harris were just two out of hundreds of Madison district students, grades K-12, who displayed their artwork Tuesday.

While the decision to choose art for exhibition at the show may be “difficult,” Snider said, each of Madison’s five art teachers at chooses 100-150 pieces every year based on a rubric that measures level of skill, creativity and effort.

Nominations for the art show seem to be growing, as more than 700 pieces from students in grades K-12 were included this year. Last year the number was just under 600.

The large number of pieces came with just as much variety—from deconstructed book projects and advanced photography displays to Halloween-themed monsters, assembled by first-grade art students from cut-up pieces of construction paper.

“We think it’s important for younger kids to see the artwork of older students,” Snider said. “It’s one thing to go to your kid’s second grade class and see everybody’s snowman, but this really gives you the perspective of seeing how the work improves over time.”