Both Boris Chang, Jr., 17, and Daniel Cho, 18, were to be...
By Kathianne Boniello
Two Benjamin Cardozo seniors from Fresh Meadows have drawn and painted their way to the top of the arts world recently as both have placed highly in a pair of prestigious national competitions.
Both Boris Chang, Jr., 17, and Daniel Cho, 18, were to be honored Tuesday, March 27, at a reception at the Brooklyn Museum of Art and were among five finalists in the national Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards that were chosen out of 250,000 entries across the country.
In addition to their success in the Scholastic competition, Cardozo art teacher Douglas Potter said both Chang and Cho ranked high in the National Foundation for the Arts contest in January out of about 4,500 entries from around the United States. From that contest Cho has been chosen for consideration as a Presidential Scholar.
Potter, who has taught art at Cardozo in Bayside since 1984, said the pairs success was overwhelming.
I would say they are the most awarded students in the country for art, Potter said in an interview Tuesday. I feel very honored and very overjoyed for them that theyre receiving this kind of recognition.
Both students said they were happy about their success.
Chang said winning anything is always good. I feel really honored and really lucky.
Cho expressed a similar modesty.
Weve just been working hard, thats all, he said. Im proud and very happy but I dont want to let it get to me too much.
Chang and Cho each had to submit separate portfolios for the two contests with slides of their works for judging.
The Scholastic competition, which rewarded Chang and Cho each with $5,000 scholarships, required eight slides of different works, such as drawings and paintings, Potter said.
B.J. Adler, the executive director of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, said the chances of having two finalists from the same high school were rare.
Its unbelievable, she said of Chang and Chos success. The odds are so against that it really says a lot about Daniel and Boris and their teacher Doug Potter.
Chang and Cho both won the regional competition in the city in late January and their work also earned them status as finalists, Adler said. National judging took place earlier this month, she said, and finalists will have their work exhibited for six weeks at a gallery in Washington, D.C.
Chang said his work for Scholastic included collages as well as pastel and pencil drawings, while Cho submitted drawings and paintings for his portfolio.
For the National Foundation for the Arts contest, both students submitted separate portfolios each with 10 slides of works with a central theme, Potter said.
Political struggles in Taiwan as well as design concepts like spatial relations between objects were the central themes of the work submitted by Chang, who received a level three, or third place, award during judging for the contest in Miami in January. Chang was awaiting acceptances from either the Rhode Island School of Design or Brown University, both in Providence, R.I.
Cho, who won a level two, or second place, award, pointed to a 19th century painting by French artist Theodore Gericault which depicts a raft with both living and dead people floating in the ocean.
It was the central theme in my first 10 pieces, he said of the Gericault painting, and then the theme just evolved itself.
Cho was slated to attend the Art Center of Design in Pasadena, Calif.
Chang and Cho were chosen from among 4,500 entries in the NFFA contest, which includes dancers, musicians, and visual artists.
Potter said the pair began their work in March and April 2000 and worked through the summer on their portfolios.
Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.
©2001 Community News Group
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