CHS students compete at annual Teen Arts Festival

Many CHS students submitted for the 2017 Teen Arts Festival.

Photo Courtesy of Shelley Ortner

Many CHS students submitted for the 2017 Teen Arts Festival.

Isabella Antoon

The Teen Arts Festival took place at Brookdale Community College on March 16 and March 17. The annual convention provides teens from across New Jersey to receive professional critiques of their work. Acceptable art forms included photography, creative writing and dance. A variety of professionally taught workshops were held throughout the day for participants to attend.

Technology teacher and trip chaperone Laura Gesin said the CHS faculty have selected approximately 50 students to attend the trip for the past 10 years.

“Each teacher selects students from their discipline, but because we can only take 50 students, often we have students participating in more than one category,” Gesin said.

Freshman Mary Kate Cashman of Bradley Beach had the opportunity to receive feedback from professionals on a photograph that she took on the Photo Club’s October Grounds for Sculpture trip.

“When I was critiqued, the professional had me explain my piece and talk about my photography. The professional only talked about the positive in my photo without giving suggestions on how to improve my work. However, looking at all of the other beautiful photography there definitely gave me some inspiration for the future,” Cashman said.

Freshman Sally Ehlers of Little Silver submitted a poem and found new inspiration for her future pieces.

“It was interesting to get opinions from a total stranger who was very knowledgeable about the creative field. The experience made me view my works in new ways which will benefit my relationship with my creative fields,” Ehlers said.  “After the evaluation, I immediately began thinking of new ideas that I would never have thought of before.”

The festival allowed for the students of CHS to gain knowledge on how to better their future work, as well as gain inspiration from the performances and submissions from students throughout New Jersey.

Senior Rebecca Madeira of Howell has competed in the festival for since her freshman year.

“This year, I competed in Vocal Solo, Visual Arts, Video and Creative Writing.  I was accepted to the Monmouth County Guild Teen Arts show for visual arts, and last year I was fortunate enough to win first place in vocal solo, so I moved on to compete at the State Teen Arts Festival, which was really an awesome experience,” Madeira said. “I’ve had a wonderful time in the past, and I continued to this year.”