Daler Wins Statewide Art Contest
Joshua Marino is hoping to get a Canon camera one day, but until then the Farmingdale third-grader uses his iPad to indulge in one of his favorite hobbies, photography.
Recently, the 8-year-old was invited by Alaina Rullo, the NYS PTA Arts Specialist, to attend the annual NYS PTA Convention from Nov. 9 to 11, in Saratoga Springs. The convention showcased artwork submitted to the National PTA’s 2018 Reflections arts contest by students from across New York State. The Reflections program is designed to encourage artistic creativity both in the classroom and at home by having students reflect on a theme and create original works of art based on that theme; this year’s theme was “Within Reach.” Submissions range from dance, film and music to literature, photography and other forms of visual art.
The submissions started at the local school level and worked up to county and state levels. Of the 1,059 entries that were selected from the school-level winners to move on to the county-level competition, just 151 won at the county level. Marino was the sole artist representing the Farmingdale School District, and later, the only Nassau County artist to win at the state level for the photography category in the primary division. The young photographer also received two citations from Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino and Nassau County Legislator James Kennedy commending him on his achievements.
Marino’s award-winning photo is a black and white shot of him swinging on a set of playground monkey bars. In line with the competition’s theme, the Albany Avenue Elementary School student immediately knew this was the picture he would want to take for submission.
“I always wanted to do the big monkey bars when I was 5, but I was too young then,” Marino explained. “When I was 7, the theme Within Reach came out and I immediately thought of that because I was grown now.”
Through much trial and error, Marino used his iPad on selfie mode to capture the perfect image of him swinging from one bar to the next.
“It was a lot of work,” said Marino. “I decided to keep on coming back [to the park] until I got the perfect pose I wanted because I wasn’t going to put all that work into one that’s not the best.”
As his awarded medals and citations show, Marino’s charisma and dedication to his project paid off, earning the pride of his school community, family and friends.
“I’m very proud of him,” stated his mother, Stacia. “He’s a very conscientious and dedicated community member and student.”
He may be just 8-years-old, but Marino is already looking toward the future. He seeks to be an architect or a meteorologist with a minor in photography.
“I get to record moments whether it’s imaginary or in real life,” said Marino of what he loves most about art. When he’s not taking photos, he also enjoys drawing. “I also like to draw sometimes, but I’m a really good photographer.”