Youth Ambassadors Talk “Long Island’s Best”

The Heckscher Museum Youth Ambassadors, a program for students in grades 5 to 8, discuss their favorite artwork from Long Island’s Best 2020 in these new videos. The five Youth Ambassadors featured have led live Museum tours in the past, but adapted easily to working virtually, said Educator Tami Wood, who leads the Youth Ambassador and Family Hour efforts at the Museum.

Ambassadors Charlie and Emma Wood explain: “As Youth Ambassadors, we’ve had fun leading tours at the Heckscher this year so we were disappointed that we couldn’t lead another at the Tulip Festival this month. But the quarantine gave us the chance to learn how to make videos about art. We started off by going on the Heckscher’s website and looking at the artworks from the Long Island’s Best exhibition. We chose our favorites and wrote a script about them. After some practice, we created short videos about our artwork and why we would vote for it for the Virtual Visitor’s Choice Award. We’re excited that now everyone gets to see our videos. We hope you like them!”

“I have loved working with the Youth Ambassadors! Since they spent years participating in Heckscher Family Hour, they have developed very strong visual literacy skills, allowing our Museum tour training sessions to focus on how they could best present their insights,” said Wood. “When the Museum moved online, we applied these same observation and communication skills to creating their videos about their favorite artwork from the Long Island’s Best exhibition. Developing and filming their video presentations also gave them the opportunity to learn new skills as they adapted to this new medium. And now they’re excited that their efforts will hopefully reach a wide audience and inspire others to connect to art in unique ways.”

ELIZABETH, Youth Ambassador

Learn about Caitlynn Bella, Casey’s Return, Gouache on paper. Division Avenue High School.

“I really like this because it is set in a forest and I really love nature and I think it is really  beautiful. When I first looked at this piece, I noticed that there is a fox, which is quite close to what I thought was a wolf. I was nervous for this fox, because I thought  it might have gotten eaten or hurt because there is this wolf next to it. Then, I read the [artist statement]… and I learned that this fox is actually next to this girl’s past dog. This dog unfortunately passed away. And the man next to the dog is her father, who was especially close to the dog…”

CHARLIE, Youth Ambassador

Learn about Tommy Burney, Familiarity, Digital art. Harborfields High School.

“When I first looked at this artwork, I noticed big splotches of color. I also noticed that only a few colors were used. The colors that are used in the artwork are red, blue, green, yellow, and white. Then I learned that some of the big splotches of color made up cars on a road. I also learned that the reason there are only a few colors used in this artwork is that the artist limited himself to colors used in the inspiration artwork, Untitled by James Brooks. Something I like about this artwork is that it shows something familiar in cars on a road in an unfamiliar and abstract way…”

EMMA, Youth Ambassador

Learn about Ningsum Chan, Dream Keeper, Linoleum print. Half Hollow Hills High School East.

“When I first looked at this artwork, I noticed a unicorn in the foreground, or front, and a path leading all the way into the background, or back. The path seems like it leads to a castle and the artwork seems like it’s set in a magical world. Then I learned that Dream Keeper was based off of Gabriela Gonzalez Dellosso’s Genevieve Estelle Jones’s Dream. In the painting, Genevieve is dreaming, in Dream Keeper, it’s like diving inside a dream. Ningsum represented themselves as a bird. Ningsum said, ‘to me, the bird represents freedom and adventure’…”

SYLVIE, Youth Ambassador

Learn about Tristan deBrauwere, Silhouetted Emotion, Digital photograph. Oceanside High School.

“When I first looked at this artwork I noticed a face that was in silhouette. I also noticed the profile was outlined in white, with the rest black. This created a mysterious look that popped off the page. Then I learned that the artwork was inspired by Andreas Rentsch’s The Wanderer. I found out that Tristan deBrauwere was trying to capture the subject in a mysterious way, yet the artwork would capture your attention, like the inspiration artwork did for him…”

ELLA, Youth Ambassador

Learn about Sophie Fischetti, Laundry Day, Digital photograph. Patchogue-Medford High School.

“When I first looked at this artwork, I noticed how happy the little girl is. From the expression on her face, she looks like she is having so much fun, even though a laundromat is not a playground, she seems to have turned it into one. I also noticed the bright primary colors in the clothes that seem to pop against the steel, gray background. Primary colors are used a lot when creating fun spaces for kids. Then, I learned it’s inspired by Fairfield Porter’s 1961 painting Elizabeth in the Red Chair…”

See all artwork in Long Island’s Best 2020

All works of art with videos are marked with a