Capozucca, Finger, achieve high honors at annual High School Arts Awards


Photo contributed by Zoe Finger 23

The CAS awards their Outstanding Arts Award based on demonstrated scholarship and leadership across the realm of visual and performing arts. Two students from each member school are awarded annually, and students must be referred by teachers.

The results are in: Zoe Finger ’23 and Jason Capozucca ’23 are the Staples awardees for the 28th annual High School Arts Awards hosted by the Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS). 

The CAS awards two seniors from member schools each year for excellence across the visual/performing arts.

Zoe Finger: excellence in visual media

Finger was honored for her skills in visual art. An eager artist from a young age, she seized the opportunity to take a total of 13 art classes across her four years at Staples.

“One of the main things I like to do is just to try a whole bunch of different mediums and not put myself in a box,” Finger said.

In addition to challenging herself through AP Art & Design, Finger took on a variety of graphic design and printmaking courses which enriched her passion for combining unique mediums in her compositions.

“I’m taking AP art this year, and that in combination with the printmaking class I took this year, formed that AP art portfolio,” Finger said. “So I started screen printing onto canvases, and then embroidery onto that.”

This fall, Finger plans to attend Parsons Society of Communication Design to further her passion for graphic design.

“I really want to go into graphic design because I think that it’s a good mix between art and more concrete job opportunities,” Finger said.

For Finger, art has proved to be an integral platform for self-expression and identity exploration.

“I’m not like a journaling person,” Finger said. “I know some people write if they want to express themselves—but I’m definitely more of an art person, like my AP art portfolio is different parts of my identity shown through screenprinting and embroidery.”

Art teacher Carla Eichler remarked on Finger’s creative mindset and artistic development throughout high school.

I know some people write if they want to express themselves—but I’m definitely more of an art person, like my AP art portfolio is different parts of my identity shown through screenprinting and embroidery.

— Zoe Finger ’23

“As an artist, she’s so sensitive, and has such a nice attention to small details and things that some people might overlook,” Eichler said. “When we’re looking at work that’s more sophisticated, it’s like the devil is in the details. So, I think that Zoe’s work is special because she really does think about not only the process of making it, but making small decisions that then add up to the larger product.”

Jason Capozucca: excellence in musical skill

The music department nominated Capozucca for his skills as a bassoonist and saxophonist. His exposure to performance began in elementary school, where he started as a violinist and then gravitated towards the bassoon and saxophone.

“I found the band teachers in all the schools that I’ve been at to be really good,” Capozucca said. “Like Ms. Gardner in elementary school and Mr. Kitchner and Mr. Winters, and here we have Mr. Giampietro […] I found all of them to be very inspiring and part of the reason I kept playing.”

Capozucca plans to attend Northwestern’s Bienen School of Music this fall, where he hopes to explore music further and reach new audiences.

“When people listen to music, there’s that feeling you have like you can’t really explain it,” Capozucca said. “By playing music I hope to make people really feel good. I never would have guessed that music would have been such a big part of my life when I was younger, and now I can’t imagine what would happen without it.”