Anneke Chan is having a busy year.
Last month, the 18-year-old graduated as the salutatorian of the 2020 class at Haldane High School. She is spending August as an intern at Magazzino Italian Art, where this month she won the Philipstown museum’s inaugural arts scholarship, which was co-sponsored by the Cold Spring Chamber of Commerce.
In June, one of her paintings, “Pool Party,” won the annual Congressional Art Competition for New York’s 18th District and will be exhibited in the Capitol in Washington, D.C., beginning in September. She is the first Haldane student to win.
This fall, Chan plans to head to Boston to begin her pursuit of a dual degree in anthropology and studio art at Tufts University. As of now, the school plans to have its students come to campus.
The Magazzino internship, which comes with a $1,000 scholarship, is given to a student with an interest in visual art or museum management.
Chan didn’t start focusing on painting until last year. “I have always drawn,” she says. “If I went out with my mom as a child, she’d bring crayons and a notebook, and it became my way of keeping myself busy. I also did the Garrison Art Center camp.”
Last summer, realizing she didn’t have a portfolio ready to apply for college, she took an advanced drawing and painting class at The Art Effect in Poughkeepsie. “We had to create a piece each week for 12 weeks and try to improve based on the critique,” she says. “It was a very in-depth process, talking with teachers. After working that way, I want to be more intentional about the things I’m making.”
The students were assigned to create works with themes of isolation and alienation. Because of the pandemic, “I was way ahead of the curve on that,” Chan says with a laugh.
Her “Pool Party” painting came from the class. “It was based on a night I had with friends in the summer,” she says. “It’s a transitory period for us, and I was feeling sentimental. I was just getting into painting and struggling to find my voice. How could I make my paintings look like my drawings? That one finally felt like me.”
For the past two years, Chan has been the student representative to the Haldane Arts Alliance. “Theater at the school is well-done and well-supported, and I’d like the same for the visual arts,” she says. “Making art can be a way to better understand yourself. When you’re in high school and going through a lot of changes, it’s important that people have that space.”
Chan started an art club at Haldane because she said realized that not every student had the chance to attend summer camps as she had. “We brought in artists to speak with kids about their careers and related topics,” she said.
Growing up in Cold Spring, Chan says she had moments where she envied the “LaGuardia kids” who attend the public arts high school in Manhattan, but said “making art in my own time is something I’ve always done” and that “teachers [at Haldane] make ample space.”
She’s excited about what comes next. “Cold Spring raised me and it did a good job of it,” she says, “but now I’m ready to move away.”