When Caroline Sultzer heard there was a student competition asking for "scary" artwork, she thought about what had filled her with fright for inspiration. She remembered a past Halloween visit to the Bayville Scream Park's Funhouse of Fear, filled with twisted and creepy clowns.
So the 15-year-old sophomore at Southside High School in Rockville Centre created a spooky painting of a circus performer, using acrylic paint, wire and old CDs. Her artwork was one of 32 pieces selected for display in the Huntington Arts Council's first "Nightmare on Main Street" exhibition, on display through Monday at the Main Street Petite Gallery in Huntington.
Her interpretation was just what the Arts Council was hoping for. "It's fun in a different way than cutout pumpkins are fun. Fun creepy," says Diana Cherryholmes, council executive director. "What does that mean in their world?"
Here are five artists' work -- including Sultzer's -- that visitors will see in the free exhibit.
ARTIST Lauren Miceli, 15, junior at The Wheatley School in Old Westbury
ABOUT HER PIECE Lauren put her camera on a tripod with a low shutter speed and used double exposure to create this self-portrait in front of an old doorway at the Welwyn Preserve in Glen Cove. "People go hiking there; they have interesting decrepit buildings that were part of the Pratt estate," she says. She made subtle movements so she would look eerie and also express how teens often feel very conflicted. "I want to pursue photography as a career," Lauren says.
'EVIL WITHIN YOU'
Acrylic paint, wire and CD
ARTIST Caroline Sultzer, 15, sophomore at Southside High School in Rockville Centre
ABOUT HER PIECE Caroline used a technique known as "stippling," using the back of a paintbrush to make tiny dots of paint that blend together when viewed from farther away to form one unified painting. She used cutouts glued to the painting for the hair and bow tie, and she used wire for the muzzle across the clown's mouth. Old CDs make the clown's eyes reflective. "The eyes, people say, are the window to the soul," Caroline says. So when viewers see the painting, they'll see their own demons looking back at them.
ARTIST Angad Sraon, 16, junior at North Babylon High School
ABOUT HIS PIECE "I did it because I wanted to make a statement about anorexia and the modeling industry," Angad says. "I thought it would tie in with the creepy factor of the exhibit. I thought it was a wonderful way to comment on how anorexia destroys young women and their self-image."
'THE DEVIL'S IN THE DETAILS'
ARTIST Gabriel Sherman, 12, seventh-grader at East Northport Middle School
ABOUT HIS PIECE Gabriel made the base over the summer at an origami convention called Origami Heaven at Stony Brook University. Then, he heard about the "Nightmare on Main Street" exhibit and remembered an origami devil that he once saw in a book. He made a red one that took him about 90 minutes to create. "The devil fit nicely on the base," he says.
WHAT The Huntington Arts Council's "Nightmare on Main Street" exhibition
WHEN | WHERE Through Monday at the Main Street Petite Gallery, 213 Main St., Huntington