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Bruce Museum Highlights Local High School Talent in the Arts and Sciences

Exhibitor Manuel Lopez at the 2017 Phenomenon: Science Innovation Fair

Each spring, the Bruce Museum is pleased to provide a showcase for local high school students who have demonstrated uncommon talent and promise in the fields of art and science.

On May 31, the Bruce Museum will host the fourth annual Phenomenon: Science Innovation Fair. The juried scientific competition features 10 science research projects by regional high school students in grades 9 – 12. 

On June 9, the Bruce unveils the eighth annual iCreate exhibition. The juried art competition will feature approximately 40 works of fine art selected from hundreds of submissions from teens throughout New York and Connecticut. iCreate 2018 will be on display in the Museum’s Bantle Lecture Gallery through August 12.

“These two annual shows allow us to highlight the remarkable achievements of young men and women from our community,” says Peter C. Sutton, The Susan E. Lynch Executive Director. “Year after year, they impress us all by continually raising the bar. We at the Bruce are proud to have the opportunity to present their work to the public.”

The Phenomenon: Science Innovation Fair is open to current students from all high schools, grades 9 through 12, in Fairfield and Westchester Counties. Calls for entries for Phenomenon went out last fall and are due on April 20. Judges look for well thought-out research, how significant the project is in the field, and how much of the experiment design is the student’s own work.

“Young scientists throughout the region have excelled at state and national science competitions in the past few years, and the Phenomenon: Science Innovation Fair at the Bruce Museum provides an opportunity for the community to show support for their efforts, see first-hand the innovative work currently being done, and provide inspiration for the next generation of scientists,” says Cynthia Ehlinger, Science Curatorial Associate.

On Thursday, May 31, the public is invited to meet the top 10 high school students who have earned a spot in this science competition and learn about their research. Visitors are encouraged to vote for their favorite work for the People’s Choice Award. The top two projects, judged by noted regional scientists and based on scientific achievement as well as presentation, and a people’s choice selection will receive cash prize awards. This event is generously underwritten by an anonymous donor.

The Bruce Museum’s 2017 Award for Phenomenal Young Scientist was shared by Greenwich High School students Shobhita Sundaram and William Yin. Each took top honors in the state and beyond last year for their research – Sundaram for investigating pancreatic cancer detection and Yin for his work on Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis. Both participated in last year’s prestigious Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in California.

Ebony Adams’ “Self-Portrait

The iCreate 2017 exhibition attracted more than 700 submissions from 48 high schools. The First Place award was given to Ebony Adams, a 10th grade student at the High School of Art and Design, for Self Portrait, in charcoal on toned paper.

“I want my art to tell a story,” says Adams. “Whether I am painting, drawing, or sketching, I live to use art as a way to record where I am in terms of experience and my artistic voice at the time.” She adds that her main purpose was to create a self-portrait “that had a realistic sense of value and contrast, as well as drawing an African American for the first time and exploring my race through art with my own perspective.”

Entries for iCreate are limited to two-dimensional original works in oil, watercolor, acrylic, tempera, gouache, pastel, any type of drawing medium, traditional printmaking forms (such as relief, etching, stone lithograph, and serigraph), mixed media, and digital media. 

The deadline for iCreate entries is May 6, with the first round of judging performed through digital entries. Up to 100 pieces are selected for live judging, on May 14. Awards and cash prizes will be presented at the Opening Night reception on June 7.

“The goal of iCreate is not only to spotlight the diverse artwork, but also to provide young artists a venue to build confidence and gain recognition in the community,” says Mary Ann Lendenmann, the Museum’s Volunteer Manager and New Media Developer. “Each year we are astonished by the breadth of the work created. Some pieces excel on a technical level, and some provoke profound reflection and emotional responses.”

iCreate 2018 is organized by high school seniors from the Bruce Museum’sYouth@Bruce committee, with generous support from the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation. Any regional high school student may submit up to three entries digitally to by May 6. For more information about Bruce Museum exhibitions, special events and educational programs, please visit or call 203-869-0376.