‘I will draw until I die’

High School students exhibit (and earn big bucks) at art show

Although creating art isn’t all about money, 17-year-old North Bergen High School student Katherine Gonzales, 17, was certainly pleased last week when one of her paintings sold for $800 – money she uses for art supplies.
She was among the Art Department students of North Bergen High School who participated in an art show on Tuesday May 24. The students showed off their paintings, drawings, and other creations.
Some students presented more than five creations that they finished throughout the school year. Senior Zack Reyes, 20, created two paintings and four drawings done with oil pastel, charcoal, and acrylic.

“I get inspired on the way.” – Katherine Gonzales
“All of this painting takes time,” Reyes said. When he graduates he’ll attend William Paterson University in Wayne for fine arts and digital media.
“I took art all four years of high school,” Reyes added, “I made a mural in one of the rooms with another teacher.”
Sammy Muhamad, 18, finished some of his paintings in a day, he said. But “My most detailed stuff took a week,” Muhamad noted. He’s been accepted into the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.
“I recently started working with acrylic, and it’s becoming my favorite because it covers more area,” Muhamad said, “I will draw until I die.”
Katherine Gonzales, who sold one painting for $800 and another for $600, also sold smaller prints of them for $10 or $20.
“My teacher [public speaking teacher Robin Rogers] passed away, and I want to show people my feelings with art,” Gonzales said, “I drew a portrait of him and everyone loved it, so it inspired me six months ago to continue painting.”
Gonzales said she always drew, and now she enjoys painting more. “To draw portraits I take a picture of the person and use the picture as a reference,” she said. “For others I used several pictures, and I get inspired on the way. Most portraits are my friends. I use them as models.”
Freshman Andre Matthew, 17, senior Sara Ryan, 18, sophomore Luis Amengual, 16, and several other students together created a large Millennium Falcon from the movie Star Wars. The falcon was created with recycled toys, cardboard, cups, foam, transformer parts, and more. They also created a DeLorean equipped with flashing blue lights. “They each took at least two months,” Ryan said, “It was fun to do, and it came out great.”
“We put a sound box inside the Falcon,” Matthew said.
“In the future I want to do more and bigger creations,” Amengual said.
One of the fashion and interior design teachers, Marlene Sapoff, said she’s been teaching fashion for 10 years, but the interior design class only started in 2015.
“I got recycled fabric like silk, and I got three students to make ties and bow ties,” Sapoff said. The ties and bow ties were displayed on hangers in the art show. Sapoff used other recycled fabrics for students to make pillows, clutch purses, and more.
Sapoff said the students were required to finish most projects in class. “Everything took about five months to finish,” she said.
Her new interior design classes were required to draw a rendering of a room, and create a do-it-yourself project that fit in the floor plan.
A painting and drawing teacher Piera DiGiulio said, “There’s a lot of stuff in the show this year, and the kids did great.”

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