Dozens of Belleville High School students were recognized by the Board of Education after competing in the Caldwell College Teen Art Jam Contest earlier this spring and some of the art works were chosen to be published in an art book.
Student Christian Hernandez was given an award for a pastel portrait he composed of an orphaned child in Haiti.
Hernandez said he learned a lot about children in poverty in other parts of the world, and was "thankful" for the award.
High School Vice Principal Russell Pagano said the Teen Art Jam, "was about celebrating art."
"These students shared their inspiration and creativity," Pagano said.
The students created two- and three-dimensional art, and competed against others from the North Jersey area, he said.
Drawings in chalk and pastels, paintings of water color and other types, sculpture and multimedia packages were all judged by members of the Montclair Art Museum, according to Belleville Art Department officials.
Another 23 art students were selected to have their art pieces published in an art book that selects students from the entire East Coast, school officials said.
Only the top 25 percent of students are published, and 15 students were published last year, officials said.
Board of Education Vice President Patricia Ornaroto, Pagano and Board President Anthony Zangari, Jr. joined art teachers in awarding students.
A huge crowd turned out to see the awards, and parents cheered and even teared up when their children were recognized.