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Two Seniors Recognized as Featured Artists as Students Prepare for Annual Art Show
Posted 04/13/2018 01:42PM

Parents, friends, and art enthusiasts are invited to walk the 'art hallway' at Montini Catholic High School on April 26, 2018 (from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm) to enjoy the work of the school's many gifted art students. The school's Annual Art Show will be held in conjunction with their Spring Music Concert which begins at 7:00 pm. Pencil portraits, pointillism paintings and sculptures will be among the many student masterpieces on display.

Two gifted seniors, Nicolette Sclafani and Marc Harbin, have been selected by Art Teacher, Stephanie Kuecker, as featured artists of the year.

"The precise blending and attention to detail stands out in all of Marc's paintings," said Ms. Kuecker. "My favorite piece is his split face painting. In my opinion, he is great with all 2D and 3D materials and he really excels with acrylic paint." According to Kuecker, Marc is always working to improve his pieces, even to the point of taking his work home to put in extra time on them. "Marc has been a joy to teach, and I am so inspired by his desire to complete his artwork to perfection!"

Marc's interest in art started when he was only five years old when he began drawing pictures of places his family often visited in California and across the country. "My mom saw I had an interest in art and enrolled me in a few art classes during summer," he said. "She also took me to museums and I really enjoyed looking at the art. When I was ten, there was an exhibition of impressionist masters at the Legion of Honor museum and the de Young Museum in San Francisco on loan from Musée d'Orsay in Paris. I was amazed how the techniques on display were so intricate and inspiring." It was after viewing this exhibition that Marc sought to expand on his artistic abilities.

"When I was two, I can remember building landscapes with my legos, blocks, train set, dinosaur figures and army men. My parents tell me I would spend hours on these creations. Each section would have a theme and the train set would surround it, kind of like Disney World and scenes from Jurassic Park!" In elementary school, Marc won an award at the local art fair in Downers Grove for a 3 dimensional drawing on a fish. "Some of my art projects from school were displayed at the Glen Ellen library," he said.

Marc, whose favorite mediums are oil an acrylics, is very grateful to have the guidance of teacher, Ms. Kuecker. "She has been very encouraging and has inspired me to continue to expand my artistic abilities after high school. I'm very grateful for her support and enthusiasm. I'm really grateful for all my art teachers here at Montini for recognizing and appreciating my abilities!"

His favorite creation is his acrylic replication of Monet's painting of the Woman with the Parasol. "It reminds me of the paintings I saw in San Francisco when I was ten."

Marc plans to continue his art adventures in college. "I am always looking to expand my knowledge," he said, adding, "Art is very enjoyable for me and it relaxes me to concentrate on a piece of art I'm creating. It is a way for me to clear my head and to get an image in my head on paper to show others, I find art to be therapeutic."

"The craftsmanship that is evident in Nikki's work takes patience and dedication," said Kuecker.
"My favorite piece is her self portrait!" Although Kuecker admits Nikki excels in all of her art projects, she believes that clay is her strongest media. "The art she produces in Pottery class is fantastic!"

Nikki, like Marc, can't remember a time when she wasn't interested in art. "In elementary school, my friends and I would do arts and crafts when we were bored, and I always enjoyed it," she said.

"I really like working with Ms. Kuecker because she always has fresh ideas and she is always excited for art class every day. I like how she lets students change the projects so it is unique to them," said Nikki. "She inspires me because she is so talented and she can make any project look instantly better just by spending a couple minutes on it."

Nikki's favorite medium is pottery. "It combines my two favorite things, sculpting and painting. I like using a lot of detail and bright colors in all of my projects!"

Of her many projects this year, however, her favorite is her multi-canvas acrylic painting of a peacock. "This was my favorite project because it put a twist on a regular acrylic painting. Acrylic is my favorite type of paint and I like adding different textures into my paintings."

Nikki is looking forward to life beyond high school and plans on minoring in Studio Arts at DePaul University. "I am planning on minoring in studio arts at DePaul University. I am not sure what I am going to do with my future career but I hope I can do something that involves art!"

"Nikki has a strong head on her shoulders and her artistic talents are limitless," said Ms. Kuecker. "I know she will continue to create incredible artwork at DePaul!"

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