The 2021 Suffolk County Community College Art Show

Mallory H., Staff Writer

The annual Suffolk County Community Art Show was held on December 9 in the Sagtikos Fine Arts Gallery, showcasing work made by high school students across the County.

The art is not just to expose the students to who they may be up against in the art world, but to also let students be aware of the options they have going to Suffolk. The college offers multiple creative and professional art courses taught by  professors, who are also the judges of this competition.

“I think a reason they have this show and why it’s open to so many people is because they want to expose students to the opportunity that you have here at Suffolk Community College,” said art teacher Allison Razzano. 

Commack High School art students have been participating in the art show ever since it began. 

“Last year, the Suffolk show was actually virtual […] This year was the first year they [the college} had our art in their new gallery [Sagtikos art gallery],” said Razzano. 

The students who submitted work for the art show worked strenuously to produce their pieces. All art forms were accepted; acrylic, digital, photography, pottery, and sculpture were all judged together. Seniors Deborah A. and Ashley R. received second place and an honorable mention respectively for their showcased art projects. 

“If they’re going to be in the same competition then, the judges should be well informed on how much effort photography takes compared to an acrylic piece, because obviously an acrylic piece will never look as exact as photography, but oftentimes it takes a lot longer,” said sophomore Sofia A., who entered the competition with a digital piece.

Judging the different mediums in such a large group is often difficult. 

“I felt that maybe the photography instead of the other digital photography should have belonged in a separate art show. That would have been more of a fair competition and more appropriate,” said Sophia A. 

Despite this concern, the competition has been judged by the same judges for years. According to Razzano, it is one of the fairest there is. 

“[The judges] look at [the art] without knowing where students go to school. They don’t want to know if you’re from Commack, or if you’re from Babylon,” said Razzano.

Not only that, but there is also a professor for every medium entered. 

“There is a photography professor, there’s a ceramics and sculpture professor, a painting and drawing professor, so they’re all from different backgrounds. It’s all extremely fair,” said Razzano. 

Some art pieces can take over ten hours to make, depending on the piece and the media. 

“ [It took] half an hour [each day], over the course of around a month. [In total], I worked on it for about twenty hours. I brought it home and worked on it for five hours one time,” said junior Matthew C. 

For many art teachers, when a student does not place, it can be extremely upsetting. Sometimes, it can go to the lengths of not thinking of the students who did place were necessarily better. However, this is seldom. 

“I’m biased because they are my students. I know how hard they work, I know what it entails. I know how they put their heart and soul into it. I know how [their piece] was chosen here at the high school because of its technical precision, the meaning behind the piece,” said Razzano. 🔳