Summer of creativity

Students take advantage of the time away from school to pursue artistic opportunities

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Photo courtesy of Noam Siegel

Siegel shows off his make-up creation.

Rochelle Berman, Managing Editor, Copy

As senior AviShai Dayanim settled in for another COVID-19 ridden summer, he decided to pursue music composition as a way to pass the extended period of time. Like Dayanim, several other CESJDS students also spent their summers’ developing new artistic talents, proving that COVID-19 could not prevent the arts from thriving. 

This summer, Dayanim was accepted into several New York University summer workshop programs. For one of his classes focused on media composition, Dayanim composed music for both video game and advertising workshops. 

“The premise of this workshop was to receive a film, clip, a video game, and finally composing music. You send it in [to] a[n] actual composer, whether it be the composer of that actual TV show or video game, who listens and critiques your composition,” Dayanim said. “Then you do a second round and send it back in.”

Although the classes required a lot of hard work, Dayanim wanted to push himself and  composed about five minutes of music each night.

“I think [self-motivation] is a very difficult thing to get used to, but it’s also so important,” Dayanim said. “I’d rather get used to it now, where I’m in my summer, and I have the ability to learn — not later when I need to pay my own bills.”

As the delta variant brought on new COVID-19 restrictions, Dayanim was forced to attend these workshops on Zoom. Although efficiently communicating was sometimes challenging through the computer screen, it was logistically easier for Dayanim to attend these workshops and connect with more people online. 

Similarly, because of COVID-19, senior Noam Siegel’s makeup artistry class was conducted remotely and asynchronously throughout the summer.

“My class has been taught entirely through videos and textbook lessons,” Siegel said. “I think it’s actually been nice because I’ve had a lot of time to practice and just chill while doing my assignments.”

While Siegel’s interest in the visual arts is not new, his specific interest in makeup is partially due to the need to find additional creative outlets while being stuck at home. 

“I’ve been driven by my need to be creative,” Siegel said. “I’m always doing art, playing music or performing, so I’ve been trying to find lots of new pandemic-safe things to do this summer.”

In contrast to Siegel, senior Rebecca Bender began working and painting at Stoneridge Art Studios before the pandemic. The full shutdown earlier in the year meant that Bender spent a lot of time painting alone at home, but this past summer brought more opportunity to safely be in person together. 

“I spent most of my [summer] at the art studio,” Bender said. “Over the summer, I spent about five hours there every day of the week.”

Although working intense weeks over the summer was a big commitment, Bender is grateful for the opportunities that their art studio has given them. They are still continuing to develop more skills in preparation for applying to art school. 

“I’ve been doing a lot of observations, a lot of figures and some conceptual stuff,” Bender said. “Although it’s a lot of hard work, if this is what it takes to get into art school, then it’s worth it.”