Two Wilton High School seniors won Julia Robb Art Scholarships from the Wilton Woman’s Club in June:  Daniel Gassel and Catherine Cinguina.  The Wilton Woman’s Club (WWC) recognized these two high school artists for excelling at their craft, after they were selected by a committee that judged the students’ art portfolios, looking for a level of mastery in any medium chosen by the student, for example in painting, drawing, photography or pottery.

“Daniel, this year’s first place winner, was selected for his outstanding technical skill in ceramics and the overall aesthetic appeal, as well as the professional look, of the pieces exhibited,” says WWC member and artist Maya Boreen, who oversaw the judging.

Gassel took a variety of art classes throughout his four years at WHS, and calls the program “really amazing.”

He settles on ceramics as his favorite course because he enjoyed working with angles, the final results are very tangible, allowing him to create items of utility, such as plates, cups and mugs. “I enjoy creating something of value, while at the same time, freeing my mind and relaxing,” he explains.

Gassel will be attending University of Connecticut in the fall.

“Catherine, this year’s second place winner, told a story in photography, with a wonderful cohesiveness to her group of photos. She did an outstanding job choosing a place for her photography and in composition and color,” Boreen says.

Throughout her time at WHS, Cinguina took classes in painting, ceramics, and photography, finding these classes to be a great stress reliever from the rest of the school day.

“I appreciated how the teachers, especially Mrs. Brandt, always tried to find new methods for us to try, for instance with PhotoShop, and new techniques in photography,” she says, adding how positive it is that WHS offers AP classes in art because they are more demanding, and allow students more independence in art.

Cinguina, whose favorite photographers are Nan Goldin, Vivian Maier and Sally Mann, will be attending Lewis and Clark College in the fall.

“Art makes you think and feel,” she says, “and elevates you to a higher awareness towards whatever you are looking at, and subsequently, what conditions surround the subject.”

The scholarship is named for Julia Robb, a former member of the Wilton Woman’s Club who drove the annual WWC Arts Fair for many years. The Arts Fair was a popular and successful event in Wilton, taking place at the Fieldhouse at WHS.

The Wilton Woman’s Club is a volunteer organization for Wilton women interested in community service, philanthropy, and social get-togethers. This spring, the club raised $40,000 for the WWC Initiative at the Wilton Youth Council, to educate youth, parents, and adults who work with youth, on preventing substance misuse. In addition, the club donated a total of $12,000 to various Wilton groups, including Town Emergency Services, Wilton Police, the Wilton Community Assistance Fund, and Trackside Teen Center. Club members also donated their time to serve the Senior Center, Ogden House, Wilton Social Services, the Person-to-Person Food Pantry, and the Person-to-Person Clothing Donation Center.

The WWC welcomes new members to apply before Sept. 1Visit the Woman’s Club website to learn more and become a member.