New Canaan High School artists selected to show in statewide exhibitions
NEW CANAAN — When it came time to submit her artwork to end-of-year student exhibitions, Hannah Suthons didn’t anticipate a problem with putting the same works up for contention at two galleries.
“I kind of got myself in a mess,” Suthons, a 16-year-old New Canaan High School sophomore, said.
Both her works, one done in pen and pencil and the other created using scratch-art paper, were accepted by the Bruce Museum in Greenwich for a student show and the Connecticut Art Education Association (CAEA) Exhibit at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford
“I had to make a print of both of them to send to the legislative office because I couldn’t have my works in two places at the same time,” said Suthons, who completed her works in New Canaan High School teacher Kimanne Core’s Advanced Studio Art class.
Suthons is one of five New Canaan High School students whose work was chosen from hundreds of submissions and will be showcased this summer at the Bruce Museum, and one of only two whose work will be hung year-round at the Legislative Office in Hartford.
Works by juniors Ann Pakhayev and Gwenan Walker, and senior Mead Savage will also be shown in Greenwich as part of the Bruce’s 8th annual iCreate exhibition, featuring 45 pieces of art, chosen from 600 submissions, from students at 33 high schools in New York and Connecticut. The exhibit opened June 9 and will run through Aug. 12.
Suthons and junior Sharanya Mukherjee were the only two New Canaan students to be selected for the CAEA Exhibit, at which only 24 works are hung in different legislative committee rooms. Suthons and Mukherjee each had two pieces selected each. The four New Canaan works will be shown in the Education and Appropriations Committee room.
“I was shocked. I really wasn’t expecting it at all,” said Mukherjee, of her selection. It was the first art competition that she had entered, though she’s been painting with her mother since the second grade.
Mukherjee’s said in her two works — one a lurid drawing of a peacock, the other an image of Gandhi superimposed over the shadowy profile of the Taj Mahal — she hoped to represent her family’s heritage in a place where it is often not part of the conversation.
“I am from India, my whole family is from India. Oftentimes I feel like, it’s a little bit difficult in this town, in particular, to feel involved,” Mukherjee said. But that’s not the case in her art class.
“I feel like we’re all there for the same reason. Even though we’re all using the same mediums, our stories and what we create are different. My past and my family’s past might create one thing. Hannah’s ideas could create another,” Mukerhjee said.
Suthons two works — one depicting a man’s body in profile, an image of a Copenhagen street where his head might be, the other a scratch-art depiction of a backpack-clad man staring at a kangaroo crossing sign — were inspired by recent family vacations. Suthons hoped to explore themes of travel and exploration in her art, and now, with her work being shown statewide, she hopes to explore further artistic possibilities.
If not for her work being selected, Suthons said, “I probably wouldn’t have known where my art could go.”
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