West Orange High School Students Win Art Awards

West Orange High School Students Win Art Awards
West Orange High School Students Win Art Awards

WEST ORANGE, NJ - Two West Orange High School students were honored this month when their artwork was selected for awards at the Art Start Competition held at William Paterson University. Senior Taylor Lanzet took Best in Mix Media for her windmill sculpture using clay, paper, collage, yarn, graffiti and working compact florescent light bulb while senior Anthony Alfonso won honorable mention in ceramics for his large vessel intricately carved with detailed depictions of owls perched on trees. The two were selected from among 100 participants from 17 high schools across New Jersey.

“They were all very pleased,” West Orange art teacher Jamie Podhurst said of her student, Taylor Lanzet, and Lanzet's family who were present at the awards ceremony. Fellow art teacher April Clark noted her student, Anthony Alfonso, an AP art student who only started taking ceramics this year was “thrilled.”

The show was held in the Power Art Gallery on campus and was juried by faculty members of the University’s Art Department. They chose the best work from each of several categories as well as two works for honorable mention in each category along with a partial talent scholarship and acceptance to the BFA program awarded to one very, talented student.

Sign Up for E-News

“It was a very professional show,” said Clark, who entered the students in the show. “The space itself was beautiful,” she said, noting on the day of the award ceremony students from the University’s Jazz Studies program provided live music. The school also provided studio tours for students interested in attending the university.

The ceremony was held on February 5thfor work submitted for categories ranging from Best in Painting to Best in Pastels to Best in Photography. Each school could enter up to six works by high school juniors and seniors along with one art piece from the instructor. Clark, who has worked in the district for 12 years, entered five of her students’ works along with the mix media piece by Podhurst’s student.

“I think it reflects well on the Art Department and on the school that our students can compete at this level,” said Podhurst, who has been teaching art for 14 years, seven of them at West Orange High School. “And it’s nice that our students are honored in the community in this way.”

The works submitted were ones the students had been working on for the school’s regular curriculum. Lanzet’s mix media piece was actually for an architectural project Podhurst had assigned. “The students could interpret it in various ways,” Podhurst said, adding, “she took it in an environmental direction. Taylor is a Renaissance girl. She is interested in many, many things and is very talented in many areas.”

Podhurst said Lanzet is an environment activist and that showed in her work. “She spoke visually to everyone at William Paterson through a sculpture.”

While not every art student may be able to accomplish that, Clark pointed out the school holds an annual art show in early June for which all art students are eligible.

“Teachers typically choose the work,” said Clark. “We try to choose a good representation of the program. For example, I try to put in some pottery as well as sculptures and mixed media.”

Students at all levels have the opportunity to be in the show while every AP art student is honored with his or her own display case. The shows are juried by working artists and art teachers.

“It’s a nice evening when students come and bring their parents, and anyone from the community is welcome to come and view the work,” said Clark.

In addition to the school’s art show, residents can also see students’ works around town. “We’ve displayed work as a school at locations such as Essex Green and at the Library in West Orange,” Clark said.

Podhurst noted the benefits of public displays and competitions. “We are starting to enter more competitions because we see how good it is for the students,” She added, “It’s a win-win for our school and the students and the arts.”


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

Nutley Police Make Arrest In Instagram School Threat Case

February 25, 2018

NUTLEY, NJ — The Nutley Police Department made an arrest in the case of an Instagram video post. An 18-year-old resident was charged with Third Degree False Public Alarm.

Joseph Rafanello, a senior at Nutley High School, was arrested and taken to Essex County Jail. The arrest followed a full investigation by the police.

Chief Thomas Strumolo stated that ...

Upcoming Events


Sun, February 25, 10:00 AM

West Orange High School (Tarnoff Cafeteria), West Orange

44th Annual Orange West Orange UNICO Sports ...

Arts & Entertainment Education


Sun, February 25, 12:00 PM

AMC Essex Green, West Orange

The 2018 West Orange Classic Film Festival

Arts & Entertainment

Can Frelinghuysen At Least Stand with Working Families On His Way Out?

February 25, 2018

On January 29, Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen announced his decision to retire.  Presumably he is now free to vote his conscience rather than blindly go along with his party’s agenda against the interests of the working class in America.

On February 14, he voted to support a bill that allows usurious credit card rates to apply when loans are sold from one institution to another.

Free Cardiac and Concussion Screenings for Young Athletes

February 22, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ — The Matthew J. Morahan III Health Assessment Center for Athletes (MJM) at RWJBarnabas Health will provide free cardiac and concussion baseline screenings to young athletes on Saturday, March 3, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at South Mountain Recreation Complex, Codey Arena, 560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange, NJ.

When preliminary testing to identify serious cardiac ...

Shouts of Racial Slurs During "Black Panther" Bring Police to Sparta Theatre

February 21, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – Sparta police were called to the New Vision Sparta Theater on Sunday night because of a woman shouting slurs in a screening of Black Panther.

Former New Jersey Assembly candidate Michael Grace was in the theater when two people started yelling racial slurs including “look at these ‘n-word’” and “can you believe these ...

Let the Games Begin

I am truly awed by the Olympics.  Watching these superb young athletes on TV inspires me to renew my membership to the gym and pursue my lifelong dream of taking home the gold.  


The problem is that in my deluded head, I can see actually see myself standing atop the podium.  I am wrapped in a puffy designer ski coat with a huge piece of bling slung around my neck ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...