High school students show their stuff at UMass art exhibit

Feb 9, 2020

Four Dartmouth High School students started 2020 with a bang: They were selected to participate in this year’s Emerging Young Artists juried exhibition at UMass Dartmouth’s College of Visual and Performing Arts.

Jaffa Heryudono, Sophia Leavitt, Julia Klein, and Tony DaCosta from Dartmouth High were invited to show their pieces from January 22 through February 1.

Students from all over New England compete for a spot in the exhibit. Out of nearly 300 submissions, juror and CVPA Dean Lawrence Jenkens selected 79 for exhibition.

The show ended with a reception and awards ceremony on February 8 with student artists, art teachers, and family members crowding the college’s Campus Gallery to view the artwork, which included photographs, paintings, drawings, ceramics, and sculpture.

All four Dartmouth students are currently enrolled in Christine McFee’s Advanced Placement Art class.

Julia Klein said that she’s been trying to get a piece into the exhibit for a couple of years. This is the first time she was invited to show.

“It feels really good,” said Klein at the reception. “I’m just really excited, because I worked really hard to get that piece in.”

The senior hopes to minor in art at college, although she’s not quite sure where she will be going yet. “I love getting to express myself creatively,” she added. 

And she was impressed with the exhibit. “Everyone’s so unbelievably talented, and it’s awesome to see other people’s work from all over,” she said.

“The exhibit is incredible,” agreed Klein’s dad Ed. “There’s a lot of talent on these walls. [We’re] extremely proud.”

“We love that they do this show,” said AP art teacher Christine McFee. “It’s just a nice opportunity for [the kids] to see what other art students are doing around the area too. And it’s a nice form of recognition for our kids, who work really hard.”

Tony DaCosta submitted the first piece he did in colored pencil now his preferred medium. 

“I’m better at colored pencil than anything else,” he said. 

The senior wants to work in graphic design, and has applied to a program at the CVPA. 

“It feels amazing to have everyone look at my art,” he said with a smile.

“We’re very proud of how artistic he is,” said DaCosta’s mother Nellie. “It’s just great to see. There’s just so much talent around us. I would hate to be a judge and try to pick which is the best!”