Briarcliff High School Holds the 2024 Art Salon

The splendor and elegance of the Sleepy Hollow Country Club overlooking the Hudson River was a fitting place for the Briarcliff High School 2024 Art Salon, which took place this week. Several dozen students presented art in its many forms in a dazzling visual display.

The exhibit included oil painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, illustrations, digital art, photography, printmaking and film shorts. There was also a tribute to the late Briarcliff High School alum and world-renowned artist Brice Marden.

The four art teachers, Roxanne Ritacco, John Brooks, Jessica Dubin and Taylor Reno mingled with guests, as they enjoyed refreshments and music by the Briarcliff High School String Ensemble, conducted by Michael Fraioli.

Director of the Bethany Arts Community in Ossining, Julia Schonberg, was the guest speaker. She asked guests to close their eyes and imagine a world with no art and then to imagine a world with more art. She then discussed the importance of the visual arts within the context of the wider community.

Ms. Ritacco’s AP Art and Design students applied to the Rhoda Holzer Memorial Scholarship. Rhoda’s husband, Stuart Holzer, presented senior Sora Marable with the second-place scholarship and senior Allison Chu with the first-place scholarship.

Guests were also invited to attend a screening of short films, created by students in Jamie Mandel’s film class and club, in an adjacent room.

Ms. Ritacco, who is Briarcliff’s Art Department Coordinator, was presented with flowers in honor of her upcoming retirement after serving 22 years in the district.

“It has been my greatest honor and privilege to teach in the Briarcliff School District,” Ms. Ritacco said in her speech. “Through the years, students have taught me a great deal. Most importantly, I learned that if one nurtures the innate talent of every child, without fail they will blossom.

“My biggest goal as an art teacher was to invite students to join me in unearthing a passion for arts – the creation, the history and the appreciation. To discover within themselves the power of art. Goodbye, Briarcliff High School. I wish my successor all the happiness, fulfillment and excitement that I experienced in my years at Briarcliff.”

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