New World School of the Arts’ 2014 Rising Stars Showcase
New World School of the Arts Rising Stars Showcase continues to leave its mark in the world of art education and to impress art enthusiasts and first time arts patrons alike, as more than two hundred remarkable students presented – on canvas and on stage, the results of their hard work and passion. Curated by NWSA dean of visual arts, Maggy Cuesta, the Rising Stars Exhibition launched the evening with a varied showcase of high school and college submissions. From a beautifully detailed series of seven miniature gold-leaf architectural paintings entitled Memory Landscapes, to Transcript, a piece that extends beyond the confines of its paper borders onto the wall to create a fluid yet highly structured moving piece, to Ripples, a canvas featuring floating ladies – reminiscent of synchronized swimming – that illustrates a much deeper concept as the artist conveys her family’s journey from their homeland to an uncertain future. The body of work presented was a testament to the exceptional talent that is nurtured at the school, and the diversity that is ever-present at New World School of the Arts.
A VIP reception preceded the evening Performing Arts Showcase, just minutes away at the Olympia Theater at Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, where the second floor mezzanine became an intimate celebration space for friends of New World School of the Arts. More than 200 NWSA supporters, elected officials, community leaders, school administrators and faculty, and art
supporters gathered to praise another year of artistic achievement and welcome what would become a celebration of artistic prose and agility. The pop-art paparazzi-inspired Rising Stars design, created by NWSA college graphic designer Junli Kato, offered a touch of fun glam for guests who were delighted to pose with their favorite starburst frame while the dainty boxed chocolates, with embossed art designs, brought a sweet taste to each and every guest.
As the iconic red curtains of the Olympia Theater went up, Little Red Riding Hood joyfully skipped – basket in hand – through the woods… encountering fellow artists enthralled in their craft, as she sang Starting Here, Starting Now, from Into the Woods. At once, the audience felt the thrill the showcase promised – a thrill that would be energized and amplified with every single performance. NWSA dancers took guests on an international journey to Spain with Baile Espagnol, performed by a trio of colorful ballerinas dancing with precision and passion, while Nosotros a romantic pas de deux, brought forth the music of prolific Cuban composer and respected pianist Ernesto Lecuona. Choreographer Darshan S. Bhuller’s 1914 commemorated the centennial of World War I with an evocative 15-minute abstract piece that exposes the isolation and desolation of war, taking the audience into the heart of the battlefield. Musically, guests were transported to
Russia under maestro Alfred Gershfeld’s baton, as the New World School of the Arts Symphony Orchestra deftly delivered a spirited closing fourth movement from Symphony Number 1 in F minor, written by Dmitri Shostakovich when he was just a teenager. Led by Brent Mounger, the NWSA Concert Band interpreted Passacaglia, written in homage to J.S. Bach, leading the audience to a standing ovation during the second half of the show. I’ve Just Seen Her, directed by Jim Gasior, reverberated through the theater as a lone trumpeter sat at the edge of the stage tossing the brassy sounds of this classic jazz ballad to a single Saxophonist – and sharing it with the NWSA High School Jazz Ensemble. The artistic journey continued as the younger high school actors offered a humorous excerpt from Shakespeare’s Midsummer Nights Dream, and subsequently, moved the audience to the “Jewel of the Antillies” – a Caribbean paradise where more than two dozen music theater students made guests sway in delight as they performed the catchy We Dance, from Once on this Island. Meanwhile, the red-caped girl, who continued to make her unexpected appearance throughout the evening, joined the rest of her fairy-tale cast to culminate the showcase with a vibrant delivery of the award-winning Into the Woods.
The evening was not only a celebration of the work and dedication that leads the students and faculty of NWSA to fulfill their passion, but also an opportunity to recognize those who offer their unwavering support and inspire with their drive and relentlessness. NWSA dance alumna Rosie Herrera, celebrated choreographer and accomplished soprano, received the coveted Alumnus Award – bestowed each year to a New World School of the Arts alum who has successfully contributed to his or her art form. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation was presented with the Heart of the Arts Award in recognition of the impact it has had in the South Florida community as well as its support of New World School of the Arts throughout the years.
New World School of the Arts proudly acknowledges Bank of America, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College, University of Florida, Radio Caracol, WLRN, and Classical South Florida for their invaluable support.