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Still Lifes & Self Portraits: Work By Bethel Students Invades Craft Center

A self-portrait created by Danbury student Jennah Haddad, 14, at left, with the artist herself at right. Photo Credit: Contributed
State Rep. Stephen Harding (R-107) presenting the award for Best in Show to Erin Bassano of Bethel High School for her drawing "Mr. Radio." Photo Credit: contributed
Bethel First Selectman Matthew Knickerbocker presenting Stephanie Milite of Pomperaug High School with her second place award for her multimedia 3D piece "Space Travel." Photo Credit: contributed
Brookfield First Selectman Steve Dunn presenting Madison Albano of Danbury High School with her second place award for her painting "Fertile Subjugation." Photo Credit: contributed
14-year-old Jennah Haddad from Danbury has her artwork featured at Brookfield Craft Center's second annual juried student exhibition - "Artists on the Rise." Photo Credit: contributed
A self-portrait created by Danbury student Jennah Haddad, 14 Photo Credit: contributed

BROOKFIELD, Conn. — It took a few weeks to create the piece, but there's no mistaking the self-portrait by 14-year-old Jennah Haddad, which is part of an exhibit at the Brookfield Craft Center Gallery.

The freshman at Danbury High School perfectly captured her dark curly hair, dark brown eyes and dark glasses in the drawing.

Jennah's self-portrait is one of the 70 pieces of artwork by area high school students on display at Brookfield Craft Center’s second annual juried student exhibition, "Artists on the Rise."

Her work, called “Myself on Paper," was created with pencils.

“I started this self-portrait as a project in class, but I started to get extremely invested in it. I wanted to make it as accurate as possible. It was extremely fun to complete," she said.

“The hardest part was trying to get the anatomy correct, along with the shading to show depth and to make the piece captivating," said Jennah, who began studying art in the sixth grade.

The multimedia exhibition features work by ninth-graders who are in their first art classes to pieces by advanced placement students, said gallery manager Jillian Doherty.

The artwork selected for the show is by students from Danbury, Brookfield, New Milford, Bethel and Pomperaug High Schools. Categories include drawing, painting and ceramics.

Over 200 people attended an opening reception. Awards were given to the best in each of five categories and the Best in Show.

"The quality of work of these students is a testament to their creativity as well as the inspiration and encouragement from family and teachers," said Howard Lasser, executive director of the Brookfield Craft Center.

The judges scored each piece of work on painting, originality and technique. “We took the highest scoring ones, and they were judged again individually. We accepted 70 pictures of 105,” Doherty said.

Student artists who created the top three pieces from each category received a gift certificate for classes at the craft center.

“We have been working a lot with our youth programs here. We like to feature the local talent,” Doherty said. “We hope to make this an annual event."

The Brookfield Craft Center is celebrating its 65th anniversary later this year.

The exhibition runs through March 26 and is open and free to the public.

The Brookfield Craft Center Gallery, at 286 Whisconier Road, is open Tuesdays to Fridays from noon to 5 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.

For more information, call 203-775-4526 or click here .

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