Creativity at the core of Teen Arts Festival

| 29 Sep 2011 | 02:40

Newton — The campus of Sussex County Community College was transformed into a center for the county’s next generation of artists, performers and writers as the 40th annual Sussex County Teen Arts Festival took place at several locations on the campus. The air was filled with creative energy as students from schools around the county gathered to support the work of their peers at the festival, coordinated annually by Professor Stella Trikouros. The event, held March 17, celebrates the artistic accomplishments of New Jersey students. It encourages students in middle and high school to explore and perfect their talents in performing, writing and fine arts by providing a showcase for their talents. In addition, the young artists and performers learn from the event, as their works are critiqued by professionals. The event is coordinated annually by Stella Trikouros, who teaches at SCCC. Wallkill Valley Senior Max Lehman performed a monologue as judge Marc Dalio, a professional performer and teacher, watched. “My nerves were shot for 10 minutes after performing my monologue,” Max said. “But the cheer from the crowd and the gratification from the judge was well worth it.” Sparta High School student Cody Dericks performed a scene from “Canker Sores & Other Distractions” with partner, Anna David. “It was definitely intimidating to be in the company of so much talent,” Cody said, “but once I stepped on the stage, the thrill of performing made any nervousness disappear.” Theater performances were only one part of Teen Arts. Photography, sculpture, paintings and countless other forms of art adorned walls and tables inspiring discussion among the visiting students. One interesting feature of the gallery space was the “Stop and Go” stations, where area artists ran brief workshops to those who stopped by their table. Artist Hannah Lieberman ran the origami station; Artist Bill Frankenfield taught students how to create and apply theatrical make-up. Student writers gathered in the library for a Poetry Jam, lead by Heather Strout, High Point Regional High School’s English and Creative Writing teacher. Here students were able to share their poetry in a supportive environment surrounded by their peers. High Point High School senior Colin Fricke read two of his original poems. “I’d appreciate some feedback,” Colin told the audience before beginning his reading. His first poem entitled “11:11” captivated the audience from the beginning. His work and performance inspired discussion, and students took turns expressing a favorite line or a moment in his performance that really touched them.