Nikon/Gordon Parks Photography Scholarship: *Daniel Naman--SUNY Purchase *Christopher Postlewaite--SUNY Purchase HBO/Gordon Parks Film Scholarship: *Linda Huang--Ghetto Film School Gordon Parks Centennial Scholarship: *Elliot Skinner--YoungArts National Foundation *Quentin Williamson--Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation Gordon Parks Arts Scholarship: *Kai Diaz--Harlem School of the Arts *Zahkele Zamisa--Harlem School of the ArtsMORE
Daniel Naman is a sophomore photography major, born and raised in rural, upstate New York. When inquisition always elicited the same intolerant reaction, Daniel’s photographic work developed its own questions. Starting with a question, opinion, or concept, his pictures are constructed from the ground, up. His work analyzes the confines and inequalities of gender that encompass American society, as well as visually portraying the psychological countenance of habitual human ailments. Deriving heavy influence from the likes of Jeff Wall and Gregory Crewdson, Daniel’s pictures induce a drama that does not originate in the natural world. This drama attempts to create an atmosphere that rearranges the common perspective of a subject that is perceived as ordinary.
Kai Diaz was born in 1998 in Queens, NY. He moved to Harlem when he was two years old and grew up there. Ever since Kai was little, his parents knew he had an eye for art. He came to the Harlem School of the Arts in the 5th grade. In 2011, he was accepted to the HSA Prep Visual Arts Program which offers advanced art classes in many visual arts disciplines like painting, sculpture and photography. In photography class, Kai learned how to focus and how to use the aperture and shutter to make a good exposure. Photography was something he always wanted to learn. At first in the photography class he would just take pictures. But then he started to realize and see hidden details, messages and meanings in pictures. Photography is not just about taking pictures; it’s the meaning in the picture that makes the photograph beautiful.
Zahkele Zamisa was born in New York City on February 10th, 1997. Since childhood, she has embraced her creative and artistic side. Zahkele has always been interested in the different forms of art, such as drawing, making music, film and photography. She started to attend the Harlem School of the Arts in 2008 for lessons in film and graphic design. Zahkele began taking a class in photography at HSA when she received an HSA Prep scholarship to study many visual art forms. Before then, her only experience in photography was from camera phones…simple digital cameras. Even though she hadn’t had as much experience as her other classmates, it wasn’t too hard to catch on and keep up with the class. She has learned a lot from working in black and white photography and appreciates it even more as an art form. Zahkele would like to continue learning photography and perhaps do more with it in the future.
Elliott Skinner, 2012 YoungArts Winner in Voice, is an 18 year old jazz and contemporary vocalist from Dallas, Texas. He attended Booker T. Washington High school for the performing and visual arts. He has had a connection to music all of his life, even growing up in a family full of sports enthusiasts. While growing up with three siblings whose lives were engulfed in sports, Elliott’s family never stopped supporting him. Elliott has performed at many venues in Dallas, including the House of Blues. He has performed alongside Keith Urban at the ACA’s, opened for Sarah Jaffe, and has performed for all living recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor. He has won an “outstanding soloist” for downbeat student music awards and the next generation jazz festival. Elliott leads worship in the youth ministry of his church every Sunday and after, has a private lesson with his 11 year old student in voice and piano. He will be attending Berklee College of Music in the fall to pursue a career in jazz voice, composition, and music education.
Quentin Williamston is a senior at the Fiorello H. LaGuardia School for Music and Art & the Performing Arts in New York City. He has participated in Rush Education Programs since 2004, including Rush Kids and Rush Teens. He was a Rush Education Intern and Mentor and he participated in the Rush Portfolio Development pilot. Quentin has also been involved in the Black Student Union and through that involvement he co-organized a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. He has also been a member of Aspira, attending weekly discussions on local, national and global issues, and he is a member of the Mathematics Club, competing in weekly math challenges at his school.
Linda was born and raised in downtown Manhattan. She is currently a senior at Baruch College Campus High School. She joined Ghetto Film School without any knowledge of the film industry. Film was the perfect creative art form for her. Her 6-minute silent film, “Love-Zero,” was one of the ten shorts that was screened at Lincoln Center during the summer of 2011. She was also chosen to be the editor of GFS’ 2012 Thesis Film Project, “The Drum,” which was produced in Johannesburg, South Africa. Linda will be attending Brooklyn College in the fall of 2013.
Christopher Postlewaite is a sophomore photography major, born and raised in New Jersey. His photographs are an observation of the reflections of various rituals and events we find in our American culture; whether it is something as simple as lawn care and pets, or the admiration for our armed services. (These works however are not limited to only those specific topics) Some works act to find the beauty in a transformed landscape or point to the interaction between humans and the landscape. Christopher aims for his photographs to manifest into a reflection of the world he has been born into and how well the subjects react to one another.
SHALISA CHANG was born and raised in Brooklyn and attended Lyons Community School in Bushwick, where she was introduced to the Rush Gallery in the School program. Shalisa instantly took to being a Rush Teen and remained highly involved throughout her high school career. While at Lyons, Shalisa also attended Long Island University's Summer Bridge Project where the curriculum involved exploring significant locations in Brooklyn and creating one's own interpretation through words and images. Shalisa says "Rush has had a major impact on my future and current goals. It is absolutely a privilege to work with a range of teaching artists and experiment with various mediums. The experience of being a Rush Kid or Rush Teen is very significant to me because it isn't just the art making process alone but also lifelong skills being taught during each class, preparing us for the real world. I have been a part of the Rush Community for five years now, since I was a freshman in high school. After graduation I was offered an opportunity to inter with Rush, so although I still had the option to make art I also had the chance to help other students, playing a leadership role."
Nia Drummond, 17, is a native of Brooklyn, NY and is a senior at Brooklyn High School of the Arts. She has appeared as a solo performer at the Apollo and as a contestant of American Idol. Nia also appeared in the New York Times. Besides her solo career, Nia has sang with acclaimed ensembles such as the GRAMMY © award-winning Brooklyn Youth Chorus, the award winning Young People’s Chorus of NYC and the NY State Summer School of Choral Studies (NYSSSA). While singing with these ensembles, Nia has sung with Sir Elton John, Bette Midler, and Billy Joel to name a few. She has also appeared in choruses under the batons of Michael Tilson Thomas, Lorin Maazel, Marin Alsop, and Renee Clausen. Nia has additional appeared in competitions and concert series in Dominican Republic and Austria. Nia hopes to travel next summer to China in July of 2012 for the World Choral Summit with the Young People’s Chorus of NYC. Recently, Nia was selected as a Young Arts Finalist in Jazz Voice by the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts in January 2012. The National YoungArts Foundation (formerly known as the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts) was established in 1981 by Lin and Ted Arison to identify and support the next generation of artists, and to contribute to the cultural vitality of the nation by investing in the artistic development of talented young artists in the visual, literary, and performing arts. YoungArts provides emerging artists with life-changing experiences with renowned mentors, access to significant scholarships, national recognition, and other opportunities throughout their careers to help ensure that the nation’s most outstanding emerging artists are encouraged to pursue careers in the arts.
Jared Ray was born and raised in the Bronx, New York and is a graduate of St. Raymond’s Elementary School. He was 12 years old when he created his first story which was a comic book drawn in stick figure form. In his Junior year of high school, Jared made the decision to pursue a career as a filmmaker. Jared joined the Ghetto Film School in the summer of 2010. His 6-mInute short film, “In Darkness,” screened at Lincoln Center in September 2010 and won one of three Lincoln Center Grand Jury Prizes. In January 2011, Jared was one of 7 students picked to attend the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah and got to fully experience all of the festivities surrounding it. His thesis script, “Prank,” was chosen as Ghetto Film School’s 2011 Thesis Project, and was shot in Shanghai, China. Jared currently attends college at Purchase College/SUNY’s highly regarded film conservatory from where he will graduate in 2015. “Prank” debuted at the HBO Theater last month to a full audience.
Rebecca Iasillo, a rising senior in the Purchase College School of Art+Design’s photography program, received the Nikon Gordon Parks Foundation Photography Scholarship to honor a photography student whose work reflects the passion, vision, and humanity of Gordon Parks. She received the scholarship in 2011 and 2012. Rebecca is originally from Fishkill, NY. Her photographic work is a critique of the suburban culture. She strives to create a strange sense of irony with the subject matter. Unlike many artists attracted to this same subject, she is not interested in conveying something necessarily negative, rather she is attempting to look clearly and carefully at the place where she was born and pay respect to her roots. She says, “Wherever I may end up in the future, I will always be inextricably tied to my home. It is this inescapable, undeniable bond that I wish to highlight.”
This scholarship recognizes new talent that is coming out of the Ghetto Film School in the Bronx, New York where the mission is to educate, develop and celebrate the next generation of great American storytellers.MORE
Last spring as students registered for their upcoming courses, they read an unfamiliar title being offered by the art history department. It was simply called 'Gordon Parks.' Who was Gordon Parks? And why was an entire course devoted to learning about a man most had never heard of before? The objective was to dig beneath the surface and to understand Gordon Parks the artist and his place in twentieth century photography, film-making and writing. But it was also a course that would take a journey through Parks' personal story of a poor black man living in a white world - a world filled with bigotry and hatred, but a world in which Parks would ultimately rise to the top by allowing his creativity and imagination to overcome adversity.MORE
Chiara Marinai is the first recipient of the Nikon/Gordon Parks Scholarship. She is a BFA Photography degree candidate in the School of Art+Design. The grant helps cover the tuition for a student at Purchase College/SUNY in the School of Art and Design. “What an incredible man,” sais Chiara about Gordon Parks. “The scholarship has motivated me to work harder on what I love most: photography.” Chiara has also volunteered to work as an intern at the foundation. She was the recipient of the scholarship the following year. In 2011, the scholarship was awarded to Rebecca Iasillo, a senior at Purchase College. Her photographic work is a critique of the suburban culture and she strives to create a strange sense of irony with the subject matter.