Award Recipients


2018 • Helena Zay

2018 • Helena Zay

2018 •Jacob van Beusichem

2018 •Jacob van Beusichem

2017 • Gwendolyn Sherman

2017 • Myra Crane

Helena Zay ('08) was always drawn to painting. She graduated from Emerson College with a major in performing arts and a minor in poetry, and after participating in acting classes, theater and film projects in New York City, she returned to Columbia County to focus on painting. She took some art classes at Columbia-Greene Community College and in 2017 enrolled in the Alkion program at Hawthorne Valley. Her current painting project is devoted to exploring the female portrait from a woman's perspective.





Jacob van Beusichem ('18) has strong interests in oil painting, photography and film. He intends to continue with his painting while attending either SUNY New Paltz or St. Lawrence University.






Gwendolyn Sherman ('98) knew as a 12-year old that art would always be a part of her life, and it turned out to be so. She attended the Aegean School of Fine Arts in Paros, Greece, studying painting, drawing and photography; learned about graphic design while working for Rich Kraham Design in Chatham; and immersed herself in sculpture and bronze-casting as well as in landscape design and stone masonry while living in New Zealand and Australia from 2009 to 2014. Now back in Harlemville, she is developing a project which involves sculpting in clay and casting for reproduction.






Myra Crane ('17) Her main interests are painting and drawing. Last summer she attended the San Francisco Art Institute’s Precollege Art Program, and in the Fall of 2017 she will begin studies in Paris, France where she has been accepted to the BFA program at the Paris College of Art.





2016 • Elizabeth Gale

Elizabeth Gale ('15) is a BFA Theatre and Development Major at Concordia University in Montreal.

In her own words: “To express empathy for others’ experiences through spoken word and interdisciplinary performance, is the theatre I would like to create or take part in.”





2016 • Cecilia Bellows ('16) has written and performed a play for her Senior Project, Belated. She is planning to move to Portland, Oregon to work and attend Portland Community College, part-time to begin with while getting established.

2015 • Talya Phelps

Talya Phelps ('15) has already distinguished herself as an accomplished musician. Anyone who has heard the fluid ease with which she plays the recorder knows the depth of her musical talent. She has also been teaching music to children after school during the past year. The Henriette Reis Award will help her to attend the Amherst Early Music Festival this summer to pursue her work on recorder.







2015 • Jonah Simonak

Jonah Simonak ('10) attended Hampshire College, where his senior thesis consisted of a series of short stories and has been interning at a book publisher and writing fiction. He is applying to Brooklyn College for his MFA in writing. Of his thesis project Jonah said, "I wrote a collection of interconnected short stories, which I paired with original and found photographs. I chose to pair image and text in the hope of propelling the stories from fictional musings into texts that felt like real documents, and that existed in a real world unlike our own."




2015 • Ezra Glatt

Ezra Glatt ('13) says that it was as an HVS senior that he discovered his all-consuming passion for music. While working on his senior project - learning the finger style guitar of Chet Atkins and designing and building an electric bass guitar - he realized that his true direction was performance and song composition. His album Wilber Forest was self-produced at Old Soul Studios in Catskill and included songs that Ezra wrote during his senior year, at his university year at Kings College in Halifax, and in the following summer. All of the songs on the album are composed and arranged by Ezra.






2014 • Zoe Ronan

Zoe Ronen ('14) came to Hawthorne Valley in his junior year. A gifted musician, he plays the trumpet, mostly classical but also Jazz and other types of music. He has also composed a piece for piano and trumpet, "Three Textures." He has been playing in the Empire State Youth Orchestra, has been accepted at New England Conservatory of Music and at other schools, and will continue his music education.







2013 • Myles Ryan

Myles Ryan ('05) who is currently living in Dornach, Switzerland, has many talents. After completing eurythmy training he devoted himself to seemingly disparate artistic pursuits: speech formation, poetry, acting, sculpture, metal work, welding, and flow form design—and has found that all of these come together in his work as a goldsmith. He is creating "wearable art" in the spirit of Kleinodienkunst. His website is He hopes to upgrade his jewelry making equipment and wants to get advanced gemology training.







2013 • Daniel Wall

Daniel Wall ('05) attended Concordia University in Montreal, but left after two semesters to pursue a voracious need to travel. He journeyed throughout the States, into Mexico and on to the Middle East, then extensively through Western and Eastern Europe. After three years of globetrotting, which included making music on city streets, networking and collaborating with other young artists, he settled into the Individualized Studies program at Goddard College in Vermont where he uncovered a dormant passion for spiritual psychology, art and music, graduating in August, 2013. His Senior Study Project was a musical arts project culminating in a thesis on the alchemy of artistic creation and collaboration, and in a fully developed CD of his original music.


2012 • Emily Fulop

Emily Fulop ('06) graduated from Lesley University with a BA in Expressive Arts Therapy. She has written poetry as well as two plays that have been publicly presented and wants to pursue graduate studies, possibly in the UK. She has been accepted to a screenwriting program at Napier University in Edinburgh and also to the M.A. program in playwriting at Royal Holloway University in London






2012 • Justin Lange

Justin Lange, ('02) is a filmmaker and currently studying at ITP, the interactive technology graduate program of New York University. He is taking new directions as an inventor and creative technologist.




2012 • Christian Peterson

Christian Peterson ('12) has written stories, poems and a play. He wants to continue his focus on creative writing.







2011 • Daniel Kobran


Daniel Kobran ('05) holds a B.S. in Environmental Design and started his graduate studies in architecture at the University of Michigan in the fall of 2011.

2011 • Julian Müller







Julian Müller ('11) spent his freshman year at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University studying cello performance with Sharon Robinson. He is transferring to the Cleveland Institute of Music, following his teacher Sharon Robinson. This summer he will attend the Manchester Music Festival’s Young Artists Program.






2010 • Kristin Dalton

Kristin Dalton ('00) studied painting at the Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle before returning to Columbia County in 2008 to continue her studies with Laura Summer and Nathaniel Williams at The Free Columbia Art Course.







2009 • Ahna Kane

Ahna Kane ('09) is studying at Drew Theater Arts Department, with a focus on playwriting.








2008 • Chandra Ping

Chandra Ping ('03) continues with her drawing and silk screening in addition to doing glass bead and leather work, see She considered moving to the west coast where she was accepted at three art schools (Art Institute of Portland, Oregon School of Art and Craft, and Pacific Northwest School of Art) but then decided to start a family and stay in Harlemville for the time being.







2008 • Lauren Sansariq

Lauren Sansaricq ('08) studied with Thomas Locker during her time at Hawthorne Valley who instructed her in the traditional painting techniques of the Hudson River School. Following his advice she enrolled at the Grand Central Academy of Art in New York City. Her work has been exhibited at the Salmagundi Club, the Institute of Classical Architecture & Classical America, and at the National Arts Club. Lauren is currently represented by Hawthorne Fine Art Gallery, where she had a solo show “Nature’s Poetry” in 2011. Lauren has been awarded the Hudson River Fellowship three times. One of her paintings was featured in a New York Times write-up of “The Great Hudson River Exhibition”.





2007 • Emily Bolevice

Emily Bolevice ('00) received her BA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City in 2008. She works primarily in photography and has exhibited in New York City, Columbia County, N.Y. and in London. She is also involved in performance art with her art collective Wild Feasties and exhibited at the Last Supper in Brooklyn, N.Y., The Wassaic Project in Wassaic, N.Y., as well as Verge at Art Basel Miami and Verge New York. Emily lives and works in Brooklyn.




2007 • Drew Wagner

Drew Wagner ('07) graduated from Smith College in 2011 with degrees in both English Language and Literature and Dance. Her senior seminar thesis explored the thematic similarities and literary appropriation between Virginia Woolf’s The Waves and Sylvia Plath’s Ariel. Currently she is earning a Paralegal Diploma at NYU, where she is exploring political and procedural writing. She is hoping to foray into legal work with social justice campaigns and human rights organizations, where her words can truly make an impact.






2006 • Seamus Maynard

Seamus Maynard ('99) graduated with honors from the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London in 2008. He was one of 24 students selected out of 2100 applicants to the school. He received the Sir John Gielgud Award for performance excellence in 2007. Seamus was inspired by his senior class production of Les Miserables, directed by Eric Müller. Upon graduating from Hawthorne Valley in 1999, he began studying with John McManus and Shakespeare Alive! and performing with The Actors’ Ensemble. Before attending Guildhall, he spent the 2004-2005 academic year studying speech and drama in England with Christopher Garvie at the Artemis School. In 2010, he was awarded a Credere grant from Think OutWord for original music composition in collaboration with Jonathan Talbot. He played Edmund in The Actors’ Ensemble production of Eugene’s Ghosts by Eugene O’Neill in 2009, which led to the filming in 2010 of the same in Eugene O’Neill’s original summer cottage in New London, Conn. He also performed in a new play, Mary, Mother of Frankenstein, at the Belgian National Theatre in Brussels, Belgium, and at the Salzburg Theatre Festival in Austria.


2005 • Matthew Müller

Matthew Zanoni Müller ('03) was born in Bochum, Germany, and grew up in Eugene, Oregon, and upstate New York. He received his BA in Creative Writing and Literature from Emerson College in Boston and his MFA in fiction writing from Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers. He teaches at Columbia-Greene Community College and is at work on various book projects, among them a memoir he wrote together with his father entitled Drops on the Water: Stories about Growing up from a Father and Son. His shorter work has appeared in various magazines and journals. To learn more about his writing, please visit





2004 • Emily Hassell

Emily Hilton Hassell ('94) lives in Ghent, N.Y., with her four children, who attend the Hawthorne Valley School. She continues to work within an avant garde art scene addressing social justice issues. She co-founded, and has participated in, a number of cultural initiatives in Ireland, the U.S., and Guatemala, including Mundo Bizarro, La Casa 0-27, and the Experimental Artists Collective Gallery 345. Her work has been displayed in many collective exhibitions and solo shows, as well as with private collectors and dealers, for over 11 years. She has joined forces with the likes of Venice Biennale artists Regina Jose Gallindo and Anibal Lopez; with sculptor and installation artist Peter Barton; and for the past year with friend and consultant Robert Pardo of Artifact Gallery, Miami. She is also currently working with Wendy McDaris of McDaris Consulting & Fine Art Gallery. Grants she has received include The Hudson River Art Projects Studio Grant and the Think OutWord Art and Anthroposophy Grant. She has received outstanding private funding, support, and sponsorship both locally and internationally. Currently she is working on a series of sculptures on the nature of violence.


2004 • Ben Dalton

Ben Dalton ('04) completed his first year of studies at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, with emphasis on bookbinding and printmaking. He is continuing his artwork and writing/bookmaking while taking time off from school to travel and work on political projects.







2003 • LeeLee Core ('03) attended Marymount College in Manhattan where she took art-major, poetry, and theatre classes. She continues to paint on her own.

2003 • Tara Shumer-Decker ('03) graduated from Hampshire College in 2007 with a project in figure sculpture and a theoretical work on art and subjectivity. While at Hampshire she studied painting, sculpture, and illustration as part of a liberal arts program, also enrolling in classes at Smith and Mt. Holyoke as part of the five-college consortium in the Pioneer Valley. In 2006, Tara was on exchange at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland where she immersed herself in Irish literature and philosophy. She feels these studies have given her a deeper appreciation of history, culture, and various representations of the life experience of others.

2003 • Sabrina Tranchita ('88) is a fiber artist creating wearable and ornamental pieces using fiber from her llamas, alpacas, and sheep. Her time is spent working on her farm and in her studio.


2002 • Emily Klavun

Emily Klavun Ruthen ('94), Mezzo-Soprano, received a Bachelor of Arts in music, cum laude, from Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., graduated from The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City, and completed a master’s degree in music at Purchase Conservatory, SUNY Purchase College, Purchase, N.Y. She has sung the roles of: the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors; the Monitor and the Mother Abbess in Suor Angelica; and the Second Lady in The Magic Flute with Purchase Opera, at the Performing Arts Center, Purchase, N.Y. She also gave a solo voice recital at the SUNY-Purchase Conservatory Recital Hall. As a Young Artist, Emily sang with Elysium--Between Two Continents, in Bernried, Germany. Additionally, her past performances include a number of operas at the Lake George Opera Festival in Glens Falls, N.Y. and at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Emily has also played roles in musical theater and dramatic productions at such theaters as Triarts at the Sharon Playhouse, Sharon, Conn., and The Neighborhood Playhouse, New York, N.Y., as well as in independent short films in New York City. Most recently she professionally recorded a short selection of Mezzo-Soprano opera arias. She currently enjoys living in Bedford, N.Y., with her husband, Phillip, their daughter Isabella Roberta (born October 4, 2012), and their Golden-Pyrenees, Lu Lu.


2001 • Vannessa Graymason

Vanessa Kobran Graymason ('01) graduated cum laude from the theater program at York University in Toronto in 2006. Vanessa is a certified Drama and French teacher and splits her time between teaching and acting. She has performed in several theatre and film productions in Canada and the U.S. and is a member of the Socratic Theatre Collective in Toronto. Currently, she is in the process of writing a performance piece about violence against women (to be mounted next year) and in the spring she will be working on an adaptation of Sherlock Holmes with Socratic Theatre.



2000 • Linda Kaufman

Linda Kaufman ('00) graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 2004 with honors in Fine Art. She began by working in the fashion industry and after realizing that she wasn’t having any fun discovered film. She now does makeup and special effects in film, print, television, video, and event. She has worked on over 30 films and also for Victoria’s Secret, both in catalogue and in the annual fashion show. She recently shot the film “Kill Your Darlings” (about the beat generation) on which she worked with Daniel Radcliffe. She is currently working on a new television show for FX, “The Americas,” which premiered in the fall of 2012 and just got picked up for a second season. Every day on the job is something new, and luckily, over time, Linda has learned that even the absurd and awful is usually funny in retrospect. As a result she laughs often! Linda likes to think that although she is not saving the world, she IS making people more beautiful and aiding in entertainment, which hopefully on some level is making someone’s life better. She holds permanent residences in Manhattan and Los Angeles and continues to LOVE what she does.


1999 • Gabriel Giles

Gabriel Giles ('99) currently lives in New York City. He completed his MBA at Columbia Business School in May 2012 while working full time for an engineering consulting company. He continues to play violin with the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony and performed on a nine-city concert tour of China in December 2011. Gabriel received undergraduate degrees in violin and engineering from Oberlin College and Columbia University respectively, and received a Guggenheim Fellowship to complete his graduate studies in civil engineering at Columbia University. As a violinist Gabriel has performed at the Aspen, Musicorda, Colorado College, and Bowdoin summer music festivals. He is currently pursuing new ventures with a focus on renewable solutions for water, energy, and waste.


1998 • Tiffany Fredericks ('98) graduated from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in 2002. Her main areas of study were traditional figurative sculpture, lost wax casting style jewelry, and stained glass. She was commended for her exceptional ability to render high levels of detail and emotion and after her second year was advised to seek additional mentorship with more advanced sculptors outside of the school. After graduating, she moved to Rhode Island and took personal commissions for art, ranging from pet portraits to sculptures to murals and jewelry, while also having castings of her sculptures and jewelry for sale in several shops and art fairs. Her style reflects a deep-rooted love of nature and mythology and depicts highly detailed and often anthropomorphic figures from the natural world, myth, and personal vision. She is currently expanding into costume and mask-making for performance, private, and corporate commissions. She is also putting her new creations into action in fundraising events for charity and plans to seek connections to therapeutic work as well.

1997 • Simone Chezar ('97) graduated from Bard College with a B.A. in Shakespearean literature in 2001, writing her thesis on Ophelia and Cleopatra. While at Bard she also played in chamber groups and took classes in drawing and etching. Simone went on to get a BSN from the University of Massachusetts in 2004. After working for more than a year as an RN on an acute-care kidney transplant unit at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass., she moved to San Diego, Calif., to work as a pediatric oncology nurse. Simone continues to play the violin for pleasure.

1996 • Claire Roberts ('96) is teaching Music Theory and Ear Training (Gehörbildung) at Bern University of the Arts (Hochschule der Künste) in Berne, Switzerland and at the Staatliche Musikhochschule in Freiburg, Germany. After obtaining a diploma in sculpture she received a degree in piano and music education as well as a diploma in Ear Training at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg. She has also completed a degree in the teaching of English literature to German-speaking students.

1995 • Martin Young

Martin Young ('95) began studies in architecture at Syracuse University before enlisting in the U.S. Army. Stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C., he was sent to Iraq in July 2006. After returning to the U.S., he left the army in October 2007 and settled in Fayetteville, N.C., with his wife, Ann, and their three dogs. In late 2008 and again in 2010, he returned to the Middle East (Iraq and Afghanistan, spending a total of 32 months as a civilian helicopter mechanic with L3 Communications Vertex Aerospace and working with many of the same people he once served with in uniform. He began work on his MBA while stationed in Iraq and received his degree from Regis University in 2010. Having welcomed their first child, Callaghan Scott Young, in November of 2011, he is enjoying a differently paced life as a work-at-home dad. He resumed his Master of Architecture training with the Academy of Art University in the fall of 2012. The AAU is based in San Francisco but provides an online option for far-flung students that is essentially identical to the program offered on the San Francisco campus.


1994 • Marianka Madey ('94) performed as a cellist with the Longwood Symphony in Boston, then continued her cello studies with David Gibson at the University of Massachusetts and played with the University Orchestra there. In addition, she studied piano tuning at the North Bennet Street School and was one of two piano technicians chosen to apprentice at the Tanglewood Summer Music Festival in 1995. Marianka is currently based in San Francisco and is tuning pianos in the Bay Area. She continues to practice the cello and is also now studying the piano. Marianka holds a B.S. in Natural Resources Conservation from UMASS, where she participated in and taught ballroom dancing and led the Ballroom Dance Team in intercollegiate New England competitions.


1993 • Rebecca Hartka

Rebecca Hartka ('93) Active as a cello soloist, chamber musician and educator, Rebecca released her debut CD Folkfire in October 2010, receiving critical acclaim as well as NPR play including a feature on Paul Elisha’s Performance Place. During her international debut tour of Southeast Asia, a performance in Vietnam was reviewed as “... no less than magical and eloquent.” As a founding member of Trio Lumiere, Rebecca performs regularly throughout New England. As comfortable in a symphony hall as in a folk club, she has appeared in venues such as the Rockwood Music Hall in New York City and Club Passim in Cambridge, MA. In the past few years she appeared as a solo recitalist in the North Quabbin Center for the Arts Series, the Exploring the Arts series, the 88 Keys series, and the Jazz and More series, among others. As a Deans Scholar, Rebecca earned her Doctorate of Musical Arts and Masters in Music from Boston University College of Fine Arts and her Bachelor of Arts in Music from Oberlin College and Conservatory, studying with Andor Toth, Rhonda Rider and Leslie Parnas among others.