Uniondale artists among 'Long Island's Best'


The work of some very talented Uniondale High School student artists is now on high-profile display.

Three students have been featured this month in a prestigious showcase for their artwork, at the renowned Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington. The exhibit, titled “Long Island’s Best: A Celebration of Art and Culture,” which opened on March 10 at the 104-year-old museum, is shining a bright light on the remarkable creativity of local students.

This showcase invited the best artists from all over Long Island to appear and feature their work. Among them, three of Uniondale High’s own had the opportunity to showcase their vibrant creativity, which was nurtured in Uniondale’s artistic community.

The Heckscher Museum has a rich history dating back to its founding in 1920 by August Heckscher, a visionary philanthropist dedicated to fostering the appreciation of art throughout the local community. Over the decades, the museum has evolved into a renowned cultural institution, known for its diverse collection and dynamic exhibits.

Kendra St. Louis, a Uniondale High student, had a digital piece called “Child’s Play” on display. Another student, Dusand Barrow showcased an oil painting titled “A Trip to Brooklyn,” and the last student, Stephanie Avelar’s photograph, “Mamá Hacinta,” was also featured at the showcase. Barrow received an honorable mention award at the exhibit, and Avelar’s work was named fourth-best in the judging for the Stan Brodsky Scholarship Award, which provides financial resources to art students in need.

The museum, whose spacious galleries are housed in an elegant, historic building, offers a welcome space for artistic exploration and contemplation. The surrounding Heckscher State Park, with its scenic beauty, complements the museum, inviting visitors to linger and immerse themselves in art and nature.

Visitors who took in “Long Island’s Best” were treated to a captivating array of student art chosen by the museum, ranging from paintings to sculptures to photographs. The exhibit, roughly 80 works in all, not only showcased the talent of emerging young artists, but also featured works of established Long Island artists in a dynamic and diverse display.

To maximize the exposure for the young, up-and-coming artists, the museum organized a series of events and programs throughout the month. The schedule included artist talks, workshops, and tours featuring the students’ work.

Monique Darrisaw-Akil, superintendent of the Uniondale school district, offer high praise for St. Louis, Barrow and Avelar, sharing her excitement that they were recognized as among Long Island’s most talented young artists. She also complimented the exhibit for serving as a platform to celebrate and encourage area students’ artistic passions — and, thanks to Uniondale’s three representatives, contributing to a growing culture of creative expression in their local community.

“We are excited that some of the incredible talent of Uniondale High School’s artists are being celebrated through this exhibit,” Darrisaw-Akil said. “Through this, we hope that current and future students at Uniondale High School will be inspired to create and let their passions shine through their art.”

Kelvin Jenkins, the director of art and music at the high school, highlighted the significance of what opportunities of this magnitude can mean for budding artists like St. Louis, Barrow and Avelar. “It is both an honor and a privilege to have student artwork showcased in the exhibition at the Heckscher Museum,” Jenkins said.

“The pathway to successful artistic careers starts with opportunities like this,” he added, “and we are so proud to have some of our scholars be part of this privilege.”