Five Jamestown High School students have been accepted into the New York Summer School for the Arts (NYSSSA). Sophomores Joseph Tanksley and Chris Edens were accepted for the video art program, along with sophomores John Brown III and Sonia Angeli as alternates. Junior Nigel Eastman was accepted into the cinematography program. Mr. Eastman also attended NYSSSA last year as a sophomore. The students are eligible to attend the Summer School for the Arts at SUNY Oswego from June 29th to July 25th.
“I’m so proud of this team of students. They worked very hard during the pre-production, production, and post-production phases of their project assignments,” said Sam Qadri, technology teacher in the JHS’ Videography Program. “The Videography teaching team is so happy that JHS will be represented at NYSSSA by this particular team of creative minds. This year, the big surprise was the record number of students who were selected for the opportunity to participate, three plus two alternates. In previous years, we had only two or three, including an alternate. Judges usually select only fifteen students statewide to participate in what’s also referred to as the ‘Governor’s School.’ Therefore, having one-fifth of the participants be selected from JHS’ Videography is a very awesome and rewarding outcome.”
The students completed an audition tape, which was shown and adjudicated at a regional audition at the Western Region Center for the Arts at University at Buffalo in March. There were rigorous criteria for the films including: content of work (for example, is the purpose clear?), structure of work (Are the edits, crops, splices, layering of sounds, etc., technically correct?) and use of media and its elements (Has your technological knowledge been a vehicle for fulfilling the work or has it become intrusive?).
“It was fun to see everyone else’s work and see how your work stood up,” said Mr. Tanksley. “It was also good to get critiques on your work so that you can make your films better in the future.”
The Media Arts Summer School is an intensive, immersion art-making experience. Each student participates in a month of day-long creative workshops devoted to a particular discipline:
*Electronic Sound Art
*Digital Video Art
“It’s the opportunity of a lifetime to be exposed to some of the leading practitioners in media arts,” agreed Chris Tehan, JHS ELA Teacher and Ed Tomassini, Media Educator & Program Consultant, Arts Council for Chautauqua County.
The goal is to develop each student’s creative process. All students work on the creation of personal, meaningful, increasingly complex, artistic statements. With extensive viewings and discussions of work, each class includes a strong foundation in the history of it’s medium. All classes teach fundamental, formal, aesthetic principals. Classes also involve extensive teaching of the technical skills associated with each individual discipline.
“I loved attending the program last year. You see a huge jump in your work after attending NYSSSA,” said Mr. Eastman. “You become more conscious of what you are shooting and it really reinforces that this is the direction you want to pursue in life.”
The NYSSSA Program in Oswego does offer a few scholarships, however, most students must pay for the month-long program, which can be cost-prohibitive. If anyone is interested in helping to sponsor one of these talented students so they can attend this prestigious school, please contact Sam Qadri at Jamestown High School (483-4493).