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Long Island’s Best: Young Artists at the Heckscher Museum Valley Stream Student Winner of the Grumbacher Visitor’s Choice Award

"Pair of Kings" by Rico Ford, colored pencil


Long Island’s Best: Young Artists at the Heckscher Museum     

Valley Stream Student Winner of the Grumbacher Visitor’s Choice Award


Huntington, NY – The Heckscher Museum of Art has announced Rico Ford, a senior from Valley Stream Central High School, has won the Grumbacher Visitor’s Choice Award for Long Island’s Best: Young Artists at The Heckscher Museum. The prestigious competition received 385 entries from a record-breaking 62 high schools across Suffolk and Nassau Counties.  Rico’s work was one of only 80 chosen by the jurors to be in included in the exhibition, on view through April 15, 2018.

Rico Ford won fourth place over all in the competition for his colored pencil work entitled Pair of Kings, in addition to the Grumbacher Award. The Award allows visitors to the Museum to vote for their own favorite artwork in the exhibition.  This year, the Museum received an impressive 782 votes.


Now in its 22nd year, Long Island’s Best is a hallmark of The Heckscher Museum’s education programs. This juried exhibition is the only one of its kind on Long Island that provides students the opportunity to exhibit their artwork in a prominent museum and to be featured in a full-color catalog.  Museum visitors are treated to exceptional artwork by talented emerging artists.  


Generous support for Long Island’s Best is provided by The Darrell Fund Endowment; Strong-Cuevas Foundation; TD Charitable Foundation; The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation;  RBC Wealth Management;  A Friend of the Museum; and Inna Gellerman, DDS, Gellerman Orthodontics.


Jurors for the exhibition were Lisa Chalif, Curator, The Heckscher Museum of Art, and guest juror Doug Reina, a notable Long Island artist and 2014 Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant recipient.


“For high school students, this is a rare and exciting opportunity to put their skills to the ultimate test and show the world who they are.  This is where you bring your A game,” said Doug Reina. “This is their first taste of what life in the contemporary art world is really like. The 'creative pressure' gives these young people terrific experience as they become the next generation of the world's artists.”


In addition to the gallery exhibition, visitors can see all of the artwork submitted to the competition on a digital display that will run for the entirety of the exhibition.  Mitchells, the venerable Huntington-based department store, will display select images from Long Island’s Best in their windows on Main Street beginning mid-April.


The Long Island’s Best educational experience begins with students visiting the Museum during the school year and choosing a work of art as a point of inspiration. Students submit their original work of art along with a detailed artist statement. “Every year, the caliber of artwork is more impressive and the artists’ statements increasingly more creative and thoughtful. It is a challenge to choose the best of the best from hundreds of entries,” noted Joy Weiner, Director of Education. 


 About The Heckscher Museum of Art

The Heckscher Museum of Art, founded in 1920 by philanthropist August Heckscher, is located in scenic Heckscher Park in Huntington, New York. Through its exhibitions and related programs, the Museum provides inspiring and transformative experiences to encourage a broader understanding of the past and present and to enrich life-long learning. The Museum’s collection comprises more than 2,500 works from the 16th to the 21st century, including European and American painting, sculpture, works on paper, and photography. For information about The Heckscher Museum of Art, visit


Museum Hours

Wednesday - Friday | 10:00 am - 5:00 pm * Saturday and Sunday | 11:00 am - 5:00 pm *

Monday and Tuesday | Closed

*Huntington Township Residents admitted FREE Wednesdays after 2:00 pm and Saturdays before 1:00 pm. Proof of residency required. Free Admission for Town of Huntington Employees and Family (up to 4) and Active Military Personnel, Veterans, and Family (with ID, and up to 5 family members).