Carving Into the National Art Honor Society

How KHS’ National Art Honor Society started their year and their future steps as a program


(Photos by Jenna Dermksian)

The Kinnelon High School National Art Honor Society has officially been established for the 2022-2023 year and their first assignment in celebration of the Halloween season was a pumpkin carving contest hosted by Crystal Springs Resort.

It is the resort’s sixth annual Jack-O-Lantern walk where they sponsor local high school art students in a creative and fun competition. Local high schools make elaborate displays with the inclusion of their carved pumpkins to compete for the best team collaboration. Students also have a chance to enter individual pumpkins which are judged for Most Creative, Best Craftsmanship, and People’s Choice.

This is the first year that the NAHS at Kinnelon has entered into this competition and the members were so excited to be able to participate. Junior Anthony Cappa said, “I really loved our first assignment because carving pumpkins is really fitting for Halloween and it was super fun to do.” The students within the NAHS collectively decided on Disney Halloween as their theme for the pumpkins, perfect for the fall season. Some designs that were included in the display were a Devil Pluto (by senior Sullivan DenBleyker), Zero from “The Nightmare before Christmas” (by junior Julia Driscoll), and a vampire Minnie Mouse (by junior Anthony Cappa). All of the pumpkins that were made were displayed surrounding a Disney castle cutout made by junior Jenna Dermksian.

Members within the society had an amazing time working on this assignment. “Without a doubt the pumpkin carving contest should be a yearly tradition for the NAHS. You can ask anyone; everyone loved it and carving the pumpkins was really fun and it was very on theme for the fall season” Cappa stated. Some members even brought up the fact that they think it should be expanded to all students. Junior Madison Bsales said, “I think it is a fun idea, but it should definitely be open to more people outside of the NAHS.”

Elizabeth Vaughn Cason is the school’s ceramics teacher and this is her first year being the advisor for the NAHS, although she has been involved with the National Art Educators Association (NAEA) for the majority of her career. Vaughn Cason also has bigger plans in the near future for NAHS, “We will be working on a global art initiative called The Empty Bowls project next. This is a grassroots movement by artists and crafts people in cities and towns around the world to raise money for food related charities to care for and feed the hungry in their communities. Empty Bowls supports food-related charitable organizations around the world, and has raised millions of dollars to help end hunger.”

This assignment will allow the members to showcase their ceramics skills as well as contribute to a worthy cause. The NAHS has so much in store for the rest of the school year. Vaughn Cason shared some goals she had for her members: “My humble goals are to recognize students for their academic and artistic achievements, and reward them for their accomplishments and service.”

(Photo by Jenna Dermksian) Devil Pluto carved by Sullivan DenBleyker
(Photo by Jenna Dermksian) Sugar Skull carved by Jenna Dermksian