WARREN, NJ – The hallways surrounding the Performing Arts Center and the main entrance atrium at Watchung Hills Regional High School (WHRHS) were lined with the original artwork of hundreds of students in Art Department classesduring the annual Spring Arts Reception, Tuesday, May 31, at Watchung Hills Regional High School.

On the same night in the South Auditorium, several short-subject videos created by students in Video Arts and Filmmaking classes were shown.

Later in the week, students in instrumental and choral arts classes presented their annual Spring Instrumental Music and Spring Vocal Music concerts, and students of the theater arts presented original one-act plays.

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“In the Arts Department, we are thrilled to have hundreds of very talented students in the wide variety of arts classes,” said Supervisor of Arts Dan Bertelli. 

The display of artwork included works of: Mixed media; photography; oil, acrylic and water color painting; drawing using various implements, including pen, pencil, colored pencil, charcoal, and chalk; sculpture using various media, including soap, cardboard, paper, and cloth; computer-generated graphics and design; ceramics; jewelry; yarn and paper weaving; and woodworking.

The artwork of some 25 seniors were displayed along the hallway between the music studios and the Performing Arts Center stage door.  A number of the seniors’ works were clustered around a digitally designed name plate with the students name and where they plan to go to college next year. 


Among the institutions the visual and career arts students were planning to attend were: Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts, The New School Parsons School of Design in New York City, Ringling College of Art + Design in Florida, and Pennsylvania College of Art & Design, as well as The College of New Jersey, Centenary College, Penn StateUniversity, St. Johns University, Fordham University, Syracuse University, The University of Vermont, Lesley College in Massachusetts, SUNY Binghamton, and University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, among others.

A similar array of colleges are the intended future academic destinations of senior students in music, dance, theater, film production, and literary and journalism writing.

An array of ceramics were on display in the front entrance atrium at WHRHS. Also on display were baskets woven from rolled paper, examples of artistic design woven into yarn, and jewelry. 

Several artistic wood craft pieces by a number of students werealso shown in the Arts Reception display. Included were everything from cutting boards and sideboard trays to pieces of furniture, such as side tables, all using a variety of wood. According to Wood Arts Teacher William Mulligan, the students fashion their pieces from raw pieces of wood to finished product, and learn how to safely use all the essential manual and power tools used in the Wood Arts field.

Computer Graphics Design students also had their works displayed at the reception. Poster boards showed how work on a project progresses from rough draft to finished product. According to Graphic Arts Teacher Steve Speeney, students approach their work as if they are working for a graphics design agency. They learn how to work with clients, how to provide clients opportunities to choose from several options, and then how to keep clients in the loop throughout the various steps leading to successful completion of the project. Several finished products of Computer Design projects have been seen throughout the school year, with students creating various program and support brochures, programs and ancillary products for school plays, concerts, receptions for honor society inductions, and more. 

The Art Department faculty include: Susan Boedecker, Craft, sculpture, Art Studio, Photography; Vincent Colabella, Photography; Gillian Crisman, Ceramics, Art Studio, Photography; Brian Dursee, Fine Arts, AP Art History; Kate Griffin, AP Studio Art, Fine Arts, Art History, Sculpture; Emily Jordan, Crafts, Sculpture, Ceramics; Steven Speeney, Graphic Design; Michelle Truskowski, Jewelry, Ceramics; Angela DiIorio Bird, Vocal Music; Minesh Shah, Instrumental Music; Douglas Eaton, Theater Arts; Marisa Joshi, Dance; Rocco Iacovone, Video Production, TV Broadcasting; and William Mulligan, Wood Arts.


Photo group shots

From left, Sophomore Jared Pincus, left, of Green Brook Township is joined by his teacher, Video and Broadcast Journalism Teacher Rocco Iacovone, his dad, Allan Pincus, and mom, Lauren Pincus after the showing of his short film, “Noiry,” as part of the Film Arts portion of the Spring Arts Reception, Tuesday, May 31, at WHRHS. The title is the wordwhose letters also spell “Irony,” and the film’s intent is to portray Irony in several ways throughout the film. Pincus said he shot the film on his iPhone and edited it through an adobe program on his home computer.

From left, Video and Broadcast Journalism Teacher Rocco Iacavonne joins Seniors Alex Bird of Millington, Angela Celeste of Millington, Charles Buscarino of Millington, and Ryan Prestera of Stirling, following the showing of “Grand Theft Otto,” Alex Bird’s film, as part of the Film Arts portion of the Spring Arts Reception. Each had a hand in the film. Bird plans to attend Ithaca College, Celeste, Montclair State University, Buscarino, Fordham University, and Prestera, Florida Technical College, Orlando, Fla.