Long Island’s Best 2024 Visitors Choice Winners

More than 1,800 votes were cast this year for the Long Island’s Best 2024 Visitors Choice Awards, by guests visiting the Museum in person as well as online.

The Museum is pleased to announce the following winners: Kayla Kleinfeldt, Grade 12, Division Avenue High School, won the Visitors Choice Award voted by Museum guests; and Shamiha Sharif, Grade 11, H. Frank Carey High School, won the Virtual Visitors Choice Award through online voting.

Congratulations to both artists on this incredible achievement and thank you to everyone who voted!

Kayla Kleinfeldt‘s oil painting, Baby Blanket was inspired by Pat Ralph’s The Visit Home from the exhibition Raise the Roof: The Home in Art. Kayla explains, “The Visit Home was never as serene for me as it might have been for the subject in Pat Ralph’s painting. The screaming and fighting I would experience throughout my childhood always made me want to leave as soon as I could. In my early teens I almost lost my parents. It had taken this for me to realize how much I was taking for granted. I realized that through all the fights and arguments, there was also growth and love. I have been exposed to more families and their interactions, and have realized that no relationship is ideal. As I grow, I look back at all the memories that have shaped me into who I am today. How much I have been ripped apart and sewn back together just like my baby blanket. In my artwork, I portrayed myself in a somewhat melancholy state being comforted by my sacred baby blanket. Atop the table is a spool of thread and needle to symbolize that you should always repair any rips or loose threads. I have realized how much my family truly means to me. Home is not just a house – it is the place where I grew into the person I am, with the people I love.”

Shamiha Sharif‘s mixed media work, Fleeting Fabrics, was inspired by Emilio Sanchez’s Casita de Madera from the exhibition Raise the Roof: The Home in Art. Shamiha explains, “My artwork takes cues from Sanchez’s emphasis on the geometric aspects of domestic spaces. It incorporates the essence of a traditional house in my home country, Bangladesh. The vibrant sari, serving as a symbol of tradition and valuable memory, becomes a focal point that shows contrast between present and past. The combination of the fabric against the backdrop of my traditional village home pays homage to Sanchez’s exploration of the intersection between cultural architecture and memory. My artwork aims to evoke a sense of nostalgia, memory, and the passage of time, much like the emotions conveyed in Sanchez’s Casita de Madera.”