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"Self Portrait"
Oil on Canvas by Ben Baker
2004 D. Bradley Smith Art Purchase Award Winner

Photo of the Artwork

Photo of the Artist Ben Baker came to Brighton from Webster in sixth grade, and Ms. King at TCMS spotted his talent quickly. She challenged him with extra assignments and urged him to develop a portfolio that would allow him to apply to the New York State Summer School of the Arts (NYSSSA).

Ben pronounced NYSSSA "the coolest thing I've ever done." He attended the NYSSSA Visual Arts program at SUNY Brockport for two summers, participating in their work/study program. Beyond the fact that work/study reduced his tuition, he enjoyed the opportunity it gave him to develop closer relationships with his teachers.

Ben is happily exploring a wide variety of visual media: painting, printmaking, metalwork and more. "If I could, I would do printmaking all the time!" This summer, two of Ben's pieces -- one sculpture, one print -- will be included in a NYSSSA exhibit at the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo. The exhibit will also travel to several NYS office buildings.

Ben will study art at SUNY New Paltz, and he fully expects to pursue a Masters of Fine Art. In addition to the media already mentioned, he hopes to study film, computer graphics, and animation for film.

When Ben isn't creating something beautiful, you'll probably find him involved with sports. He played on the BHS volleyball team four years, captaining the team one year. This year, he played in goal for Brighton's Section V champion lacrosse team.

photo and story by Jim Kane

June 17, 2004

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