Bronxville High School senior Indira Dasgupta won the prestigious Concordia College Osilas Gallery stArt Regional High School Exhibition Award of Excellence. She was presented with the award for her self-portrait, “Self-Portrait Wearing a Kurta,” during the gallery’s opening reception on Jan. 8.
Art teacher Courtney Alan said Dasgupta’s work stood out for its technique and creativity. She described her student as a meticulous, independent, dedicated and focused artist who takes the time to problem-solve and perfect each aspect of her work.
“Indira’s self-portrait is striking,” Alan said. “She was able to represent herself with precise realism and capture a unique expression. She rendered her clothing so well that you can get a sense of the texture and folds of her kurta, the softness of her jeans and the variety of textures of her winter boots. She made choices to represent herself in a powerful, yet relaxed pose.”
Dasgupta’s drawing was part of a project in Alan’s Art 3 class, for which the students were asked to create a full-length self-portrait that conveys something unique about themselves or evoke a feeling or sense of self. Dasgupta used black charcoal on kraft paper to represent herself in a simple pose, wearing a traditional Bengali kurta. In her portrait, the high school senior is wearing her everyday pants and boots to show a clash, as well as the integration, between the two cultures. She used studio lighting, often from one direction, to create dramatic shadows.
“Indira won the award because she created an extremely successful work,” Alan said. “She took time to carefully figure out the texture and details that make this work stand out. At the reception, people were coming up to her because they recognized her from the drawing. Many wanted to congratulate her on a job well-done.”
The annual exhibit in Osilas Gallery, on display through Jan. 24, showcases the work of talented high school students from Westchester, Fairfield, Rockland counties and the Bronx. This year, 78 students from more than 26 high schools displayed their work and were critiqued by seven judges, ranging from artists to professors and curators.