May 23, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Local Artist Ellie Fried Wins Place in Rockefeller Flag Exhibition

Teaneck resident Elianna Fried was a winner of “Raising Up NYC,” the Rockefeller Center’s Flag Project. Ellie, 18, is a rising FIT photography student after a gap year in Jerusalem.

As a young girl, Ellie Fried was always drawn to art. Exposed to the soulfulness of artistic renderings of the stories of the Torah and gorgeous acrylic renditions of Israel’s landscape, Fried saw the potential for art to unlock spirituality and a wealth of emotions. Fried was drawn to the way in which great art can speak about our life experiences with immediacy and profundity.

She started her artistic career when her parents bought her a professional-grade camera and enrolled her in photography and art classes at Fashion Institute of Technology and the Art Intensive at Cooper Union University. She continued with art with Ms. Winslow in the fabulous art program at Frisch High School. While studying at Midreshet AMIT last year, she was given special permission to take drawing classes at The Israel Museum, which was certainly a challenge since she was not only the youngest in the class but it was taught in Hebrew. But she loved it and wished she could have continued it but she came home early due to coronavirus.

When Fried saw an ad for the contest to create an artistic flag depicting what it means to be New York Strong, she instantly envisioned her painting. She immediately had an image come to mind that encapsulated the strength and struggle of the five boroughs in this moment. But she quickly discarded this, imagining herself too young and inexperienced to enter the contest. However, she kept seeing promotions about the contest pop up in her social media feeds and it started to feel like it was meant to be. She knew all she had to do was get the image out of her head and painted.

The Rockefeller center contest received more than 1,200 submissions, but only 193 flags would be raised around the iconic ice rink/plaza at Rockefeller center from August 1-16. Fried’s artwork was chosen! Her acrylic painting conveys the strength, energy and diversity of the Big Apple. There are five parts to the colorful swirl for the five unique boroughs of NYC. Her artwork embodies the love and passion she feels when walking down the streets of New York.

This experience has had a major impact on the young artist. Fried said, “I have learned to never doubt the impact I can make with my artwork.”

It is a lesson for all of us: If you are brave enough to throw your hat in the ring, you just might win!

Learn about the NYC Flag Project, and view all of the artwork, including Fried’s, at�https://www.rockefellercenter.com/flag-project/.

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