AGAPAE Wins Gold with a Near Perfect Edition
Art Teacher Ms. Karen Crowley started as the Adviser for the Oyster Bay High School Annual Art and Literary Magazine AGAPAE in 1992. Her final issue as advisor was for the 2016 issue. That issue earned the highest award of a Gold Medal from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. The threshold for receiving a Gold Medal is a judges' score of 800 or better. A perfect score is 1000. The 2016 OBHS AGAPAE received a near perfect score of 970.
Ms. Crowley transferred to the James H. Vernon School this year to teach Art and is loving working with the students there. Oyster Bay High School Art Teacher Scott Boris has taken over the advisor role for AGAPAE. Oyster Bay High School English Teacher Shannon Murphy is co-adviser as she has taken over the adviser position for the literary component of the magazine.
The new advisors have the advantage of two returning editors from the award winning issue. Gabrielle Grady and Jodi Yeh were the Art & Design Editors for the 2016 issue. Gabrielle Grady and Jodi Yeh were the Art & Design Editors for the 2016 issue. This year, Gabrielle and Jodi are serving as the Managing Editors. Another bonus is that both editors are juniors. AGAPAE is in good hands for the next two years.
The Managing Editors of the award winning 2016 AGAPAE were Jodi’s older sister Robin Yeh and Justine Colvin. Ms. Colvin was reached to comment about the job of Managing Editor.
She said, “Editing a literary arts magazine is a never ending cycle. You start with a mountain and slowly, piece by piece, you shave it down to the perfect collection of writing united by a common theme, idea, or motif. Then you have to do it all over again. This time it is not typed out in 12 pt. Times New Roman font all neat and relatively straight forward. This time, as hard as it was to find the perfect ensemble of prose and poetry, it’s infinitely harder because now, not only do you and your team have to sift through hundreds of pieces of artwork, but you also interpret another person’s art, then connect this art to not only the overarching concept of the entire magazine. A relationship must also be established between every pairing of writing and art. That’s how you edit a literary arts magazine.
It’s this integral relationship, which AGAPAE executes extremely well that I was fortunate to speak about at the Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s workshop for school papers, magazines and yearbooks. In order to prepare, I reexamined the edition of the magazine for which we received a Silver Crown, and pinpointed where the relationship between the piece of literature and art was particularly strong. I then explicitly articulated what related the pieces, there were always many, and why they were effective. These relationships would be as superficial as similar of complementary subject matter, or as nuanced as the feeling each piece evoked within the viewer/ reader.
My senior year, in which I produced the 2016 edition of AGAPAE, there was an additional pressure other than the immense desire to produce a better magazine than I had the year before. This year, I had to teach the next generation of editors. So over the few months, I embarked on a journey thinking out-loud, collaborative thinking, and a gradual transfer of power. This process was made easier by the wealth of incredible writing and amazing artwork, a lot of which came from that year’s AP Art class.”
Vernon Principal, Dr. Valerie Vacchio has sought and received approval for a new literary-art magazine at Vernon, which is scheduled to begin next year. Look for Ms. Crowley to continue her award winning ways at the James H. Vernon School.