Henriette Reiss Award For Artistic Endeavor

The Henriette Reiss Award deadline is coming up! Deadline Wednesday, April 28th, 2021

Henriette Reiss by Winold Reiss, 1912 Pastel on paper, 23 1/2″ x 19 1/8″

This award is given annually to Hawthorne Valley School seniors and/or alumni. It is administered by the Henriette Reiss Award Committee. Awarded amounts vary from year to year and have ranged from $500 to $1,500, depending on the success of annual fundraising efforts to supplement endowment income.

Click here for more information and details about the application.

About the Award

The Henriette Reiss Award at Hawthorne Valley was established in 1993 through the generosity of Elizabeth Hughes Papas to honor the work and spirit of artist and teacher Henriette Reiss (1889-1992).

Central to the life and work of Henriette Reiss was the abiding insight that art is crucial to individual and social development, a view also embraced and furthered in Waldorf schools around the world. The recognition of these truths moved Elizabeth Papas, who lived in Philmont, NY, to establish an award at the nearby Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School, in order to help aspiring students further their educations in the arts.

2020 Award Recipients

Liri Ronen '16Liri Ronen ’16 is currently at Bard College and Conservatory, in pursuit of two degrees: a bachelor of music in French horn, and a degree in chemistry. During this time, he has performed in numerous orchestral works, chamber music and solo works on horn and piano, as well as composing music for performance and film soundtracks. In addition, he plays guitar, has written and performed several of his own songs, and formed a band that covers classic 50’s and 60’s oldies.




Senior Solomon Bergquist Solomon Bergquist ’20 has sung solos in school performances and is currently in a barbershop quartet, yet his interests and talents extend into other artistic fields. He has won writing competitions for short stories and is currently working on a novel. For his Senior Project he took on the adaptation, direction, choreography, and orchestration of the full-length musical, Man of La Mancha. He also performed in it and oversaw costume and set design. Next year, he will be attending Princeton University, where he plans to study the humanities.


2019 Award Recipients
James Jackson and Lillie Hoy of the band YASSOU

YASSOU, a musical group led by alumni James Jackson and Lilie Hoy, both class of 2009 now living in the San Francisco Bay area, and Dominic Wolff, class of 1987 of Ghent, NY will each receive this year’s Henriette Reiss Award for artistic endeavor, given annually to current or former Hawthorne Valley School graduates. Due to the high artistic caliber of this year’s applicants, there will be two awardees.

YASSOU was formed in 2009 by four Hawthorne Valley alumni: James Jackson, Lilie Hoy, Theo Quimby and Julian Muller. Through a collective desire to collaborate and Dominic Wolff standing on a ladder while working on his fire sculpture

create with other musicians, composers, and filmmakers, YASSOU’s projects range from touring as an indie band, conceptualizing and

producing ballets, to scoring feature-length films. Their work strives to bridge the worlds of pop and classical art – and to focus on inclusion, both in terms of their art and with their audiences.

Dominic Wolff is a local carpenter, avid photographer, and an admitted builder of fire sculptures. Along with friends (Patrick Jansen, Luke Tekverk, Nate Tekverk, and Michael Pewtherer), he has created a three-story tall wooded sculpture that rotated on propellers and set aflame as well as, most recently, building a reusable fire sculpture made of found, recycled, and scavenged materials largely made of steel. This “contraption” known as Dopaluna was presented at the Imbolc Riverfire pageant at Basilica Hudson this past February.

2018 Award Recipients



Jacob van Beusichem, class of 2018 of Copake, NY and Helena Zay, class of 2008 of Hillsdale, NY received the 2018 Henriette Reiss Award for artistic endeavor, given annually to current or former Hawthorne Valley School graduates. Due to the high artistic caliber of the 2018 applicants, there were two awardees.

Jacob van Beusichem’s main interests are oil painting, photography and film. He intends to continue with his painting during his studies at SUNY New Paltz or St. Lawrence University.

Helena Zay graduated from Emerson College majoring in performing arts. After participating in acting classes, theater and film projects in New York City, she returned to Hillsdale, worked in a photography studio to sharpen her visual language and took art classes at Columbia-Greene Community College. Last year she enrolled in the Alkion program of the Hawthorne Valley Association, while continuing her commitment to work in painting, focusing particularly on female portraits.



2017 Award Recipients



Myra Crane and Gwendolyn Sherman receive 2017 Reiss Award

Myra Crane

Myra Crane

Myra Crane (class of 2017) of Chatham, NY and Gwendolyn Sherman (class of 1998) of Ghent, NY have been awarded this year’s Henriette Reiss Award for artistic endeavor, given annually to current or former Hawthorne Valley School graduates.

Myra Crane’s main interests are painting and drawing. Last summer she attended the San Francisco Art Institute’s Precollege Art Program. The Henriette Reiss Award will help her to begin studies in Paris, France in the Fall of 2017 where she has been accepted to the BFA program at the Paris College of Art.

Gwen Sherman

Gwen Sherman

Gwen Sherman knew as a 12-year-old that art would always be a part of her life, and it turned out to be so. Since graduating from Hawthorne Valley School in 1998, she has attended the Aegean School of Fine Arts in Paros, Greece, studying painting, drawing and photography; learned about graphic design while working for Rich Kraham Design in Chatham; and immersed herself in sculpture and bronze-casting as well as in landscape design and stone masonry while living in New Zealand and Australia from 2009 to 2014. Now back in Columbia County, she is developing a project which involves sculpting in clay and casting for reproduction.

The Henriette Reiss Award was established in 1993 by Elizabeth Papas of Philmont, NY, a long-time friend of the Reiss family. Henriette Reiss (1889-1992), a resident of Columbia County, NY, for 25 years, was an internationally-respected artist and designer. Born in England and raised in Switzerland, she followed her husband, the artist Winold Reiss, to New York in 1914, where she soon established her own career and became well known for her textile and rug designs, as well as for her book jackets and advertising layouts. She also taught at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. For further information on the Henriette Reiss Award see henriettereissaward.org.

2016 Award Recipients
Cecelia Bellows

Cecelia Bellows (HVS ’16) is a senior who has already distinguished herself as an accomplished actor. She presented an original solo acting work for her senior project. The Henriette Reiss Award will help her to pursue her theatrical work in Portland, Oregon.

Elizabeth Gale

Since graduating from Hawthorne Valley School in 2015, Elizabeth Gale is attending Concordia University in Montreal, majoring in Theatre and Development, focusing on theater as an element of personal and social change.  She intends to continue at Concordia and receive her BFA.

Previous Award Recipients
For bios on each previous Henrietta Reiss Award recipient, information on how to apply, and the history of the award, please visit the Henrietta Reiss Award website.


  • Jonah Simonak (HVS ’10)
  • Talya Phelps (HVS ’15)
  • Special Recognition: Ezra Glatt (HVS ’13)


  • Zoe Ronen (HVS ’14)
  • Myles Ryan (HVS ’05)


  • Daniel Wall (HVS ’05)


  • Emily Fulop (HVS ’06)
  • Christian Peterson (HVS ’12)
  • Justin Lang (HVS ’02)


  • Julian Müller
  • Daniel Kobran (HVS ’05)


  • Kristin Dalton (HVS ’00)


  • Ahna Kane


  • Chandra Ping
  • Lauren Sansaricq


  • Emily Bolevice
  • Drew Wagner


  • Seamus Maynard


  • Matthew Zanoni Müller


  • Emily Hilton Hassell
  • Ben Dalton


  • Leelee Core
  • Tara Shumer-Decker
  • Sabrina Tranchita


  • Emily Klavun


  • Vanessa (Kobran) Graymason


  • Linda Kaufman


  • Gabriel Giles


  • Tiffany Fredericks


  • Simone Chezar


  • Claire Roberts


  • Martin Young


  • Marianka Madey

1993, The First Henriette Reiss Award Recipient

  • Rebecca Hartka


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