two students hold their art work at left and on right artwork

Mims McNeil and Billy McNeil (l-r) withwith their art and a Kyle Tobias's graphic design "Bermuda."

Three William Floyd High School student artists – Kyle Tobias, Mims McNeil and Wacha-Waste Win “Billy” McNeil – were recently honored for their outstanding artwork at the 2021 Parrish Art Museum Student Art Exhibition. All three of these talented senior student-artists were selected for Awards for Excellence. Their artwork, which was on display at the museum in Watermill, NY, was chosen among hundreds of submissions from the best student-artists from around Suffolk County. All three are students in Theresa Bianco’s AP advanced art class.

photo of Kyle Tobias

Kyle Tobias

Senior Kyle Tobias received the “Award of Excellence” in the graphic design/digital media category for his work, “The Triangle,” depicting a man in a rowboat trying to escape from a sea serpent. The judges were equally impressed and complimentary, stating, “Technically this is a very proficient digital illustration with superb dynamic perspective indicating the artist not only knows how to draw really well, but also knows how to utilize the computer to create such a masterful illustration. What is even more astounding is that this illustration is the artist’s invention and not a copy...very professional for someone still in high school.”

Wacha-Waste Win McNeil, who also received the “Award of Excellence” in the painting category was honored for her acrylic on wood piece titled, “For Mom.” The judges said, “This painting stands out in part because the large scale is rather ambitious, however the artist also appears to have self-imposed a rather strict discipline in how she has handled the application of paint, limiting herself to painting all areas using flat patches of paint without the customary blending that indicates shading to describe the illusion of volume. Perhaps as a consequence of the disciplined approach, the overall painting is cohesive in conception and abstract in design. Viewed from afar it appears totally abstract although there is a stylized figure in the brown veiled area. Quite a tribute to the artist’s mother.”

Mims McNeil, received an “Award of Excellence” in the drawing/illustration category for her charcoal piece, “Desperate from a Different Angle.” The judges wrote, “The existential title and idea of this mixed media charcoal drawing appears to be somewhat more captivating than the rendering of the figure, although those simulated eyes sewn together with red beaded string coupled with the beckoning hand packs a powerful psychological punch to the viewer.”

“Having the opportunity to have their artwork on display in a professional museum like the Parrish, is amazing enough, but to have their work chosen for these awards reflects the caliber and exceptional artistic skills our students have at William Floyd,” said Theresa Bianco, chairperson of art & teacher of fine arts.

The judges were clearly impressed by each student’s talent and ability, as well as the dedication of the teachers who helped them through this challenging school year.

Neill Slaughter, professor emeritus, Long Island University, who also served as a judge wrote, “I am cognizant of what is entailed in the creative endeavors I saw at the museum and want to compliment not only the students’ efforts but also all the teachers who rose to the challenge admirably, teaching the students as best they could under these trying circumstances [of the pandemic].”

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