Art in the Hall winners decorate Stafford

Last week the winners of Seton Hall’s very first annual Art in the Hall contest were announced.

Coming in first place was Daniel Folta, a freshman Asian studies major, and winning an honorable mention was Angela Martone, a freshman who is undeclared.

According to the SHU website, the contest ended in November and was designed to decorate Stafford Hall. The theme for the contest was “Servant Leadership.”

“Our purpose (for holding the contest) was two-fold—to provide artwork for the new classroom building and to celebrate the talent of members of our community,” said Karen Van Norman, Dean of Students.

She added, “I believe both goals were accomplished.”

Folta’s painting was titled “Troy” which depicted a scene from the Iliad in which Menelaus, husband of Helen is holding the body of Patroclus.

Folta started painting just three years ago at the Art Academy of Hillsborough, where he studied under former illustrator and current portraitist Kevin Murphy.

He completed his painting “Troy” in a 4-week long intensive program at the Academy.

“It took me 175 painting hours to complete in the course of one month,” said Folta. “It is my hope that people will not only enjoy dwelling on (the story of Menelaus) but also admire the sheer amount of meaningful issues the Iliad addresses that we as people still struggle with today.”

Folta believes art is immensely important, even in today’s society.

“I believe that human beings were given a desire to create, to take something and make it better and beautiful,” said Folta. “Art is just another way in which we do that.”

He feels that art is a way to convey the essence of our time to future generations.

“The art we produce today tells the generations and cultures ahead of us how we viewed the world and how we defined beautiful,” said Folta.

“The art we produce for today has the potential to make huge impacts for tomorrow; and I don’t know about you, but that’s something I want be a part of.”

Martone’s painting was titled “Patriots” and was meant to convey an important message about military sacrifice. She has been painting since her freshman year of high school, where she “fell in love with the medium because of the uniqueness of the techniques that could be used.”

“A lot of people don’t really think about the sacrifices that those in the military make,” said Martone. “I wanted to express what those who serve are willing to do for their country and the people that they love. Some make the ultimate sacrifice while others must live with their loss.”

Martone said she thinks that art is very important in society today.

“Art provides a way to express emotions in a much clearer way than using words would,” she said. “It also can carry different meanings to different people depending on their perspectives and life experiences. In this way, art can communicate to more people than the spoken or written word can. Art is an important medium of expression because it is so personal but at the same time so relevant.”

Artwork for the contest was judged on visual effectiveness and overall appearance and originality.

First prize was $1,000, second prize was $500 and honorable mentions won $100.

Rachel O’Connor can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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