Students Show Off Skills at 4th Annual Babylon Art Festival

Rooms of Old Babylon Town Hall were full of artwork from local students over the weekend as the 4th Annual Babylon Art Festival at the Babylon Citizens Council on the Arts took place.

“I think it’s nicest we’ve had yet,” Theresa M. Santmann one of the people behind the festival said. “The paintings are so much more advanced.”

Santmann helped create the festival four years ago after Babylon Schools changed the art room into a science lab. According to Santmann the lab was a success and students even began winning science competitions, but she wanted a way to put art back in the schools. She started in Babylon but with contacts at the local colleges it soon spread to include students from Farmingdale State College and Dowling College.


Praying Mantis made out of cardboard by Brianna Perdue a sophomore at SUNY Farmingdale

The annual festival is open to kindergarten through college students at the schools.

“It’s so important to get them familiar with art at a young age,” Santmann said.

If you wandered around the exhibition during the past weekend you would have seen pieces mixed together in the display to include different mediums, ages and abilities. There were a lot of paintings and photographs, but also some mixed mediums and even pottery including some with QR codes to see a story put to music of the figurines created.


Walking in the Rain” sculpture by Teresa Langone a sophomore at Dowling College

Many of the entries included their other passions such as a t-shirt with the new horticulture branding on it.

“I love to hear the back stories of how they were created,” Carol Gandarillas of the Babylon Citizens Council on the Arts said.

Work on the annual festival began back in January with judging for entrance into the festival starting in March. On the college level, the art teachers swapped so Dowling College professors judged the work from Farmingdale State College and vice versa.


Rori Sutkowski of Babylon High School, Grade 11

Judges awarded prizes to 24 students from the Babylon Village School District, Dowling College and Farmingdale State College. First place awards for students from the colleges were $600 each as a scholarship and junior and senior high school students received $300 each as a scholarship. Honorable mentions from the colleges received $100 each and the junior and senior high school students received $50 each.


“Idle Hour Boulevard Intersects with Château Drive” Digital Photo by Jonathan Bailey, Dowling College, junior

Here’s the full list of the 2014 Scholarship recipients:
Award of Excellence
Farmingdale State College: Briana Perdue, Diane Troiano, Desiree Lange and Michael Fitzpatrick
Dowling College: Kelsey Lee Franciosa, Jonathan Bailey, Teresa Langone and Kelly Di Fede
Babylon Schools: Brendan Laing, Shannon Brushett, Suzan Gee, Rori Sutkowski

Honorable Mentions
Farmingdale State College: Kelly Ohara, Brianne Valgoi, Ellery Mann, Rafael Rivas
Dowling College: Michael Taverna, Justin Scalice, Gabriella Papale, Jade Glasgow
Babylon Schools: Hannah Benneche, Chandler McMillan, Drew O’Connor, Paula Romero


Jennifer O’Keefe Gentle Strength Oil paint SUNY Farmingdale, sophomore