37th Annual “Touch the Future” Art Show

37th Annual “Touch the Future” Art Show Honors Bucks & Montgomery High School Students

(BLUE BELL, PA) Top works of art from Bucks and Montgomery County public high school students will be featured during the annual “Touch the Future” art show, in collaboration with Montgomery County Community College, beginning on Sunday, March 3rd.

This is the 37th year for the “Touch the Future” art show, a professionally-juried art exhibit named in tribute to Christa McAuliffe, the first teacher in space who perished aboard the space shuttle Challenger in 1986 and was known to have said, “I touch the future. I teach.”

Touch the Future is sponsored by the Mideastern Region of the Pennsylvania State Education Association and the Council for the Advancement of Public Schools.

We are so thankful for our partnership with Montgomery County Community College to put on this show,” said Bill Senavaitis, President of PSEA’s Mideastern Region. “The high quality of our students’ work is truly a testimony to our Bucks and Montgomery County public schools’ dedication to the arts. We appreciate all of our public school educators and our artists’ families for helping students improve their talents and follow their dreams.”

25 local high schools are participating in the show, which features 301 student artworks. The winners of the juried show have been selected by Em Kleaver, Admissions Counselor at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art and Architecture. The 2024 show will award 26 prizes totaling $4,835.

“I am so honored and humbled to have been chosen to enjoy this year’s amazing selection of work,” said Em Kleaver, the show’s jurist, in her juror’s statement. “I was truly overwhelmed by the breadth of work and level of skill I witnessed while jurying this year’s show.”

The art show, which is open to the public, will remain on display at the Blue Bell Art Gallery through April 5th. The show is made possible by the hard work of “Touch the Future” co-chairs and local educators Mike Werner and Joanne Carrick from North Penn High School, and Terry O’Neill from Neshaminy High School. Montgomery County Community College Galleries Director Patrick Rodgers provides key support in ensuring the success of the exhibit.

“These students have created some outstanding pieces this year and pursued some really adventurous themes. For those who haven’t seen this exhibit, it’s a jaw-dropping display of artwork that really reflects the creativity of area students and their teachers. We’re grateful to PSEA and teachers for all the support they give to this experience, which anyone can visit and enjoy. Congratulations to all the students involved in the show,” said Patrick Rodgers, MCCC Galleries Director.

This year, 25 students were awarded prizes, totaling $4,685, which were sponsored by the PSEA Mideastern Region CAPS Program, and PSEA Montco-Retired.

The Rosemary Hamilton Memorial Teachers Choice Award is chosen by PSEA-MER teachers and will be awarded at the Art Show’s closing reception. In addition, artworks chosen for the PSEA-Mideastern Region purchase prize receive a place of honor in the art gallery in PSEA-MER’s office in Montgomeryville.

A listing of the winning artists is below.


1st Place Best of ShowAnagha KannurpattiCouncil Rock High School North“Infusion” Black and White DrawingJim Biglan
2nd Place Best of ShowTommy MackeySouderton Area High School“Will He Be Proud” 2D Mixed MediaSabrina Pistoria
3rd Place Best of ShowSadie Van TasselHatboro-Horsham High SchoolDivisive Dinner” Color DrawingLeah Eilert
Drawing Black & WhiteShannon TrusdaleUpper Moreland High School“Self Portrait”Alex Pinguli
Drawing Black & White HONORABLE MENTIONSimone GravesTruman High School“Locked Doors”A. Freeman
Color DrawingJulia CallahanBensalem High School“Road Kill Graffiti”Carly Najera
Painting  Maiah MeiPennridge High School“Bubble Wrap”Sarah Moos
Painting HONORABLE MENTIONErin ThomasSpring-Ford High School“The Artist’s View”Brent Kissel
2-D Mixed MediaKerry ChenCouncil Rock High School South“Get In Line”Michael Catalano
2-D Design and PrintmakingOlivia PhelanNeshaminy High School“Western Fantasy”Mrs. Terry O’Neill
Digital Imaging/Computer GraphicsYvan PhanPennridge High School“Clay Pot Rue”Sarah Moos
Photography  Carina LaventureNorth Penn High School“1 Year Older, 10 Years Gone”J. Carrick
Photography HONORABLE MENTIONMilo TrubetskayaWilliam Tennent High School“Untitled”Kristen King
3-D Mixed Media SculptureNanditha PailaSpring-Ford High School“The Human Fabric”Chad Strickler
3-D Single Medium SculptureKatherine WeimerSpring-Ford High School“Life, Death, and Decay”Karen Gallagher
3-D Single Medium HONORABLE MENTIONDallas NyceSouderton Area High School“Escape”John McLaughlin
3-D FunctionalMelanie EvittsUpper Merion High School“Low Tide”Megan Barner
3-D Functional HONORABLE MENTION Riley FanelliPennsbury High School“Wildflowers”Jon Twersky
Computer AnimationLydia HerbNorth Penn High School“Animated Short”Mr. Mike Werner
Selma Burke Sculpture Award (any 3D work)Clare MorganCouncil Rock High School South“Tea Party”Elizabeth Thomas
Susan Castle Memorial (jewelry/metals artwork)Christina ValaNeshaminy High School“Koi”Justin Bursk
  PSEA Purchase Prize  Annabelle Schu    Council Rock High School South“At The Pier On Thirteenth”  PaintingMichael Catalano
PSEA Purchase PrizeJesse RiveroHarry S. Truman High School“Electric Roller Coaster” Silver Print PhotographyMark Morgan
PSEA Purchase PrizeMaggie JacobsCentral Bucks High School West“Turtle” 3-D Single Medium SculptureAlison Thompson
ROSEMARY HAMILTON MEMORIAL – selected by teachers at closing receptionTBD   

# # #