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Somerville: Immaculata HS Visual Arts Extend Beyond Classroom

Jazlyn Colon will attend The College of New Jersey Credits: Courtesy Immaculata High School
James Cavanaugh is headed to the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Credits: Courtesy Immaculata High School
Jeffrey Sorge will attend the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Credits: Courtesy Immaculata High School


SOMERVILLE, NJ - While Visual Arts teachers Deirdre Rosinski and Joe DeVito ’98 have always worked to achieve their mission of guiding their classes at Immaculata High School through instruction, practice, and participation, this year the student opportunities to take their work beyond the classroom walls really flourished.

Within the school itself, Visual Arts students took their skills to every aspect of student life.  In the Art Wing, three senior Independent Art Study students, James Cavanagh, Jazlyn Colon, and Jeff Sorge, created an Installation Art piece called “The Influencers of Memory” in an unused space within the school’s Art Wing.

The concept is based on the places one goes, the people one sees, and the memories one creates, to illustrate the paths one takes in life.  Through the innovative piece, the artists leave behind some of themselves and  this message: “As long as the journey gives you insight, hope, happiness, and the connection with people who will initiate change in your life, then that is all that matters.  Remember bold ideas and bright points will always be along your way.”

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The Athletic Department has been a major benefactor of many student artistic endeavors.  Junior Nicholas DePaola has created stunning banners for many teams to honor their senior players and athletic highlights.

Colin Mullen, Gianni Riga and Nolan Leger, all seniors, have produced logos and ads for several sporting events, as well as alumni gatherings.  Junior Skyler Esposito with his school press pass has taken professional shots and video at key sports events. The video club has assisted in the taping of many of the school basketball games. 

Pulling all of the school’s photography efforts together in a school photo archive is sophomore Olivia Forte, who manages the placement of thousands of pictures.  All of these ventures not only help the school, but add value to each art student’s portfolio.

On the photography front alone, many students had the thrill of seeing their work published online for the Police Unity Tour (an event close to Immaculata’s heart as the late Detective Matt Tarentino ’06 was honored)  was featured in the Tapinto-Somerville, new website.

In addition, professional photographer, Bill Brokaw, was a special guest of DeVito’s Photography Club   Juniors Kathleen Gorman and Skyler Esposito, sophomores Madeline Dowe and Olivia Forte, and freshmen Sean Castellano and Sophia Kosty were all awarded placement in a photo exhibit ccordinated by Brokaw, held in Frenchtown, as well as publication within Hunterdon County’s Chamber of Commerce.

This spring the Visual Arts Department, in conjunction with Campus Ministry, hosted an arts “event,” attended by students, parents, grandparents, and alumni.  The first segment of the event was an impressive display of art work ranging from drawings, paintings, prints, mosaics, personally designed batik fabric, ceramics, graphic design, video productions, animation, photography, and art portfolio presentation from Independent Art Study students. 

Several seniors showcased their portfolio pieces and engaged with Show attendees to talk about their personal work: James Cavanaugh is headed to the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Jazlyn Colon is attending the College of New Jersey (TCNJ), and Jeffrey Sorge will be at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.  Following the Art Show, guests went to the Coffee House, where students performed musical pieces and live poetry reading.

Immaculata has the benefit of two art professionals, who work within their respective industries.  Rosinski, a certified architect, is heavily involved with the local art community and will have an exhibit at the Gallery on Division Street this month.

DeVito is a professional, award-winning filmmaker and this year his latest movie has been recognized at the Hoboken International Film Festival and nominated for Best Experimental Film at the Hang Onto Your Shorts Film Festival in Asbury Park.

DeVito has developed a Summer Internship Program for Career Shadowing, in conjunction with the Guidance Department and Administration, for eligible current and former students to participate in his company’s video production endeavors, movie-making processes, and special events in media communications.

With the expanded facilities in the Art Wing, including a fully functional fine arts studio, digital arts studio with the latest in photo and video editing software and nearby newly renovated theater, the goals of the  visual arts educators continue to expand and synthesize professional learning experiences beyond the classroom. As the department reaches new heights,  students will seek out new projects, new tools and mediums for visual communication, involvement in the arts community, workshops, competitions, festivals, and the ongoing beautification of the school and campus.


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