Eli Mollineaux will always be remembered by his hometown. The Huntington High School sophomore lost his battle with a rare disease last fall, but his presence is still felt vividly by all who knew him.
Mr. Mollineaux especially loved art and he was very good at creating it. The teenager developed a bond with high school art teacher Kristin Singer as well as many other faculty and staff members.
“Eli taught us all so much over the years and has left a legacy that will most surely endure,” Superintendent James W. Polansky said. “His spirit, positive attitude and perennial smile have set the standard in Huntington and beyond. We all need to continue bELIeving in ourselves and each other, in our community and in society. Hopefully this honor and the work displayed at the Heckscher can help spread Eli’s impactful message even further.”
At last Saturday night’s opening reception for this year’s Long Island’s Best Young Artists exhibit at the Heckscher Museum, a crowd numbering in the hundreds learned a little bit more about just how special Mr. Mollineaux was.
Joy Weiner, director of education at the Heckscher Museum arranged a special tribute in Mr. Mollineaux’s honored near the beginning of last weekend’s awards presentation.
The museum is displaying Mr. Mollineaux’s photograph along with an image of his award winning artwork from the 2016 show. Last Saturday’s tribute included stirring remarks about the teenager’s connection to art and how he brought his community together with his work.
Mr. Mollineaux was last year’s recipient of the $250 Renzo S. Biachi Scholarship Award and an honorable mention fine arts award. He titled his mixed media piece, bELIeve.
“I spotted Stan Brodsky’s Around Yellow at the museum and was immediately drawn to it,” Mr. Mollineaux said in his artist’s statement. “Being legally blind, the bright colors, bold strokes and largeness of scale easily spoke to me. I found a deep connection between Brodsky’s artistic style and my own work in that we both use light and color to evoke emotion in our art. In my work, bELIeve I layered watercolors and acrylic paints onto rice papers and adhered it to a larger paper with paint applied with a brayer. As my disease, Pearson’s syndrome progresses and my tremors become more uncontrollable, I have learned to adapt my technique by using larger brushes, paint brayers and a weighted glove to make marks and layer paint.”
The teenager found joy in many daily activities that others might take for granted. “I find great pleasure in the process of creating art,” said Mr. Mollineaux in his artist’s statement last year. “I love choosing color schemes and applying different types of brushstrokes and marks on to surfaces. In creating art, I always find great success regardless of my physical challenges, because art is limitless. Art allows me to genuinely communicate, connect and relate to others in a way equal to my peers.”