Superintendent’s Artist of the Week: Claudia Harris


Superintendent’s Artist of the Week: Claudia Harris

June 7, 2023

Warwick Valley High School senior Claudia Harris was recently honored with a Presidents’ Award from the Lower Hudson Region Media Art Teachers’ Association. The award is given to students whose entire body of work shows noteworthy content, a creative approach, attention to composition, a command of their craft and is visually and technically outstanding.

Claudia’s illustrations stood out among the 475 works of art and film submitted by 251 students from 14 different Hudson Valley High Schools located in the Bronx, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, and Westchester counties.

Claudia had forgotten about entering the contest until last week when WVHS art teacher Kristen Spano told her that she was a Presidents’ Award winner.

“I was surprised,” Claudia said. “I just simply was not expecting it.”

Ms. Spano, however, was not surprised.

“Through the countless art classes, Claudia has taken her illustrations and developed them into a life of their own,” Ms. Spano said.  “She creates a sense of personality that lifts them off the page to become memorable characters. Since freshman year, Claudia has been exploring character design. At a young age, she shared her passion for character design and developed her own style. She uses neutral colors and delicate lines to define her character’s shape and features.”

Claudia has been creating art for as long as she can remember. She said her whole family is creative.

“Art has just always been a part of my life,” Claudia said. “I have always been drawing in some way, and my house is full of art.”

Claudia plans on a career in art, possibly as an illustrator. Next year she’ll be attending the Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia. She will major in illustration and was accepted into the Visionary Honors Program, which is the college’s most prestigious scholarship program for talented, motivated and future-focused students.

Claudia created the illustrations for a book in the Once Upon a Child project last year. This year she wrote and illustrated her own book: “Sundown and Snowflakes.” The book is about a chicken named Pierogi who gets stuck on a roof and is based on something that happened to one of Claudia’s chickens.

Claudia creates most of her art digitally, using an iPad and the program Procreate. She likes having more control over things like lighting than with traditional art.

“Also, if I make a mistake, I can immediately undo it,” Claudia said. I also like the way that I can just pick and choose which textures I want and where. I think has helped me understand some of the basics for traditional mediums, like the opacity.”

In addition to her art accomplishments, Claudia also played the cello in the WVHS Symphony Orchestra. She plans to bring her cello to college and hopefully start or find a club to continue playing.

Superintendent's Artist of the Week: Claudia Harris


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