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WCSU to host inaugural Student Art Showcase, announce winning artists, on May 18

Student Art Showcase graphic

Student Art Showcase graphicDANBURY, Connecticut — Western Connecticut State University will present an Opening Reception and Award Ceremony for its inaugural Student Art Showcase from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 18, 2024, in The Gallery at the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury. The Showcase will feature works created by student artists who attend secondary education institutions in Connecticut. The Opening Reception and Award Ceremony are free and open to the public. Please RSVP at www.eventbrite.com/e/wcsu-2024-student-art-showcase-reception-awards-ceremony-tickets-893829346637.

The students’ submitted work has been divided into four categories: Painting, Drawing/Illustration, Photography and 3-D Small Works. At the May 18 event, 15 winners will be announced: first, second and third place in each of the four categories; and first, second and third place overall. Category winners will receive gift cards, sponsored by Jerry’s Artarama of Norwalk. The three overall winners will receive cash scholarships (contingent upon acceptance and full-time enrollment into WCSU’s Bachelor of Arts in Visual Art program; conditions apply).

Seventy-seven works from 56 high school-age students were selected for inclusion in the competition and exhibition, which will be on view from Saturday, May 18, through Friday, June 7, 2024. Gallery Hours are Tuesday to Friday, noon to 4 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. at The Gallery at the Visual & Performing Arts Center, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury.

The purpose of the event, according to Brian Vernon, dean of WCSU’s School of Visual and Performing Arts, is to establish a more profound connection with high schools in the region and highlight the importance of Arts Education across all levels. To achieve this goal, he reached out to Lisa Scails, director of the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut, to collaborate with the Department of Art to organize this inaugural event. “We want to celebrate the students’ creations to encourage the development of these young artists as they prepare to investigate the arts in a college setting,” Vernon said.

The students whose art was selected for the competition and exhibition are:

Arianna Alagna – Homeschool, Bridgewater

Ellie Arcario – Newtown High School

Nina Archiere – Danbury High School

Sarah Cartagena – Newtown High School

Matheus Casareggio – Danbury High School

Schmarlee Charles – Danbury High School

Miriam Da Costa – Danbury High School

Prince Davenport – Highville Charter School, New Haven

Madelyn DeGennaro – Bethel High School

Ethan Denning – Danbury High School

Bryana Diaz – Newtown High School

Alexandra DiLorenzo – Newtown High School

Mary Dunn – Wethersfield High School

Nicole Etchie – Westover School, Middlebury

Natalia Gonzales – Ansonia High School

Jill Guilfoyle – St. Joseph High School, Trumbull

Amanda Gujski – St. Joseph High School, Trumbull

Fayrose Hussain – St. Joseph High School, Trumbull

Lucy Jackson – Education Without Walls, New Milford

Emily Kokoszka – Enfield High School

Julia Lacasse – St. Joseph High School, Trumbull

Ava Larsen – Newtown High School

Lisa Liu – St. Joseph High School, Trumbull

Daira Lopez – Danbury High School

Emily Lu – William H. Hall High School, West Hartford

Nora Magel – Wethersfield High School

Puma Marx – Newtown High School

Alexis Mastrangelo – Enfield High School

Amber Mattioli – Ace (Alternative Center for Excellence), Danbury

Sydney Melluzzo – Wethersfield High School

Bailey Munroe-Ritter – Education Without Walls, New Milford

Zoey Orellana – Ansonia High School

Jamie Xavier Ortiz – Wethersfield High School

Madeline Paine – Wethersfield High School

Lucas Parham – Danbury High School

Carolena Parker – Wethersfield High School

Anushka Patel – Education Without Walls, New Milford

Grey Pomeroy – Shepaug Valley High School, Washington

Abby Poreda – Enfield High School

Amaia Potashner – William H. Hall High School, West Hartford

Nathaly Quinde – Danbury High School

Samuel Ramirez – Danbury High School

Tatiana Rivera – St. Joseph High School, Trumbull

Mariah Rodriguez – Wethersfield High School

Bianca Sanchez – St. Joseph High School, Trumbull

Kayla Smith – Wethersfield High School

Marianna Sousa – Danbury High School

Logan Steisel – Danbury High School

Selena Stevens – Danbury High School

River Trotter – Ridgefield High School

Niki Tsilfides – St. Joseph High School, Trumbull

Ashley Velsmid – St. Joseph High School, Trumbull

Emma Vincent – Westover School, Middlebury

Kayla Ward – Wethersfield High School

Gabriel Zagaja – Wethersfield High School

Emzie Zalaznick – Bethel High School

Ken Scaglia, chairman of WCSU’s Department of Art, added, “The inaugural event hosted by WCSU in partnership with the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut, seeks to provide a forum for young artists to be included in a gallery exhibition to inspire continued and renewed efforts for creation of art. The arts cannot be overstated for their benefit to each generation of creatives who seek expression and engagement with a proven crucial communicating exercise that sparks numerous healthy community and professional connections,” he said.

“WCSU welcomes these artists who aspire to creative heights,” Scaglia continued. “A gallery exhibition can be a transformative event for artists. Their work is carefully presented to a wide audience, giving the artist an evaluation and appreciation of their efforts. The shared experience among artists is a powerful method to encourage greater participation and dialogue for those interested in entering the arts.”

For more information, contact the Department of Art at (203) 837-8403 or WCSU Communications and Marketing at pr@wcsu.edu.


Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.