Byram Hills Inducts 20 Students Into National Art Honor Society

Byram Hills High School celebrated the artistic talents of 20 students, inducting them into the National Art Honor Society.

Director of Fine Arts Marc Beja opened the April 17 induction ceremony, which recognized the students for their commitment to community service in the arts and their visual arts courses.

“In my short time at Byram Hills, I’ve been really fortunate to see the District’s commitment to the arts, from our students’ first days in kindergarten at Coman Hill, all the way through the offerings here at the high school,” he said.

The National Art Education Association started the National Art Honor Society in 1978 to recognize students for outstanding ability and interest in art. The Byram Hills chapter was formed in 2018 and is dedicated to providing students with opportunities to broaden their knowledge of the arts and serve their community. 

For induction, Byram Hills students must maintain an A average in their arts courses and a B cumulative GPA in all other subjects. Students are eligible for membership in 10th grade after completing Studio Art and two art electives.

During the induction ceremony, the honor society officers, Avery Talbot, president; Lila Raff and Elizabeth Albright, co-vice presidents; and Jessica Freiberg, secretary/treasurer;
discussed their journeys through the Byram Hills art program and with the honor society.

Lila talked about her fascination with the interplay of light and shadow and her work focusing on daylight and the passage of time. 

“As a leader in the National Art Honor Society, I’ve been privileged to explore avenues for artistic outreach and community engagement,” she said. “This experience underscored the myriad ways in which art can enrich lives and foster connections with the Byram Hills community and beyond.”

Avery discussed her work reflecting on her childhood memories and thoughts and emotions about getting older. “I am thankful for the invaluable lessons I have learned at Byram Hills,” she said. “I extend my appreciation to the National Art Honor Society for the opportunity to lead and to the dedicated art teachers that have guided me over the past four years.” 

At Byram Hills, Elizabeth said she has been able to experiment with all kinds of media, “which pushed me to go out of my comfort zone and get creative.”

“I’m so lucky to have such amazing and supportive art teachers who want nothing but the best for the students and their creative minds.”

Jessica described her photographs of New York City and collage work.

“Being part of the National Art Honor Society has allowed me to expand my skills and passion for art,” she said.  “As I move on to college, I will take with me everything my teachers have taught me and will use them as a guide and whenever and wherever I may use my artistic abilities.” 

The officers also highlighted projects and activities that NAHS members participated in during the year.

  • Students’ work was included at the Armonk Outdoor Art Show, a juried fine art and design show.
  • Students painted pumpkins inspired by the artists Keith Haring, Tim Burton and Yayoi Kusama, as well as Halloween designs. In the days before Halloween, the creative pumpkins could be seen in many classrooms.  
  • Students launched the Butterfly Project at Byram Hills. The project is an effort to remember the 1.5 million children killed in the Holocaust through the beauty of ceramic butterflies, which will eventually become part of a permanent installation.
  • Students created Valentine-O-Grams, electronic Valentine’s Day cards that were sent with personalized messages. They received 275 orders. 
  • To lift spirits, students painted kind words on rocks and spread them throughout school.
  • In a new project this year, students crocheted adorable little animals for patients at a children’s hospital. They also made cards for people in the hospital, featuring uplifting messages and colorful illustrations.
  • Two students made the New York City finals of the global sustainable fashion contest Junk Kouture.
  • Through the Memory Project, students received photographs of orphaned children in India who may have few personal possessions. The students made portraits of the children to honor their unique identities that will be mailed to India for them to have as keepsakes.

The honor society advisers, art teachers Jayne Karlin and Amy Menasche, called each inductee to receive a membership certificate as their artwork was displayed on a large screen on the stage.

The students inducted were: Lilly Alonzo, Sarah Bogart, Charlotte Brodbeck, Laila Byles, Sophie Cai, Rylie Casler, Riley Conigliaro, Amelia Deeks, Ari Dreilinger, Sophia Getz, Sonia Kulik, Isabella Lamberti, Thomas Levy, Thomas Lin, Savannah Mathis, Angelina Nie, Giada Rocco, Kaylee Shinar, Ruby Smalheiser and Ashley Stangel.

Past inductees were also recognized at the ceremony for their continued work with NAHS.