Art Extravaganza Dazzles

Roxanne Civarello

Genevieve Finn '17, Writer

Months of creative effort burst onto the MC scene on the evening of March 7 at the seventh annual Art Show and Awards Ceremony entitled “Night on the Town,” presented at the Saint John Paul II Student Center. The Art Department’s four teachers curated student works in ceramics, painting, drawing, and photography for the exhibition. The annual Extravaganza is dedicated to the memory of the late Dave Tuchsen, who from 1971-2008 inspired generations of MC student artists as chairman of the Art Department.

Judging the show were accomplished Bay Area professionals including Wesley Wright (ceramics), Susan Schneider (painting), Vincent Serritella (drawing), Marion Little Utley (MC ’72) (photography), and Kevin Lozaw (photography). Each judge awarded prizes to the top submissions in their respective fields of expertise. The winners were recognized before a packed house of participants, parents, and patrons.


Thunderheat, Nick Campagna

The Roar was fortunate to interview judges and teachers on their experience at the Extravaganza. Judge Susan Schneider, a San Rafael painter trained in graphic design, remarked on the difficulty of judging so many exceptional submissions.

“It’s interesting that they’re broken out in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Honorable Mention, and Judge’s Choice, which is the one they say you would want to bring home with you as a Judge,” said Schneider. “That’s really tough because they’re all so good, so if people realize that there were so many in the running, they should understand never to feel discouraged.”

Schneider was particularly inspired by the depth of concept in Connor Merrion’s First Prize-winning piece and the level of emotion Charlotte Kwok achieved in her Second Prize-winning piece.

Judge Vincent Serritella, a Bay Area artist acclaimed for his work at Pixar Animation Studios, judged the drawing submissions.

Serritella noticed that the majority of the work was figurative and focused on portraiture, which he said was “both very natural, because it’s something we look at everyday as we interact with people, and very validating, because when you finish you can say, ‘Does this look like something I’m familiar with?’” Serritella was impressed with the level of technique and out-of-the-box thinking shown by MC student artists.

Dust to Dust

From Dust, Kyra Fleischman

The evening’s highlights included marveling at the assembled submissions, eating delicious hors d’oeuvres, and interacting with the gratified art teachers, whose own works were also shown. The Roar spoke with Miss Kathryn Kindelan (Art 1) and Mrs. Laurie Reemsnyder (Photography) about their individual takes on teaching art to the next generation of MC artists.

soda hand series

Soda Hand Series, Alia Anderson-May

Asked about how she encourages her students’ artistic development without influencing them too much, Ms. Reemsnyder responded succinctly, “There is always a delicate balance between inspiring, imitating, and influencing, and I try to find a way to blend those together while encouraging my students’ own artistic voices.”

Miss Kindelan responded with an emphatic “YES” when asked whether students’ works serve as a source of inspiration for her.  In fact, she produces more art now than before she became a teacher. “Because of my students, I get to see the world grow more and more beautiful through 125 different sets of eyes each year,” said Kindelan. “I get to design projects and watch as they are interpreted in 125 unique and exceptional ways. Watching that happen day after day teaches a person a lot about the potential to create something beautiful in anything and everything!”


At evening’s end, twenty-one students took home ribbons for their efforts. Presentation of the awards was preceded by a moving speech by Mr. J about his mentor, Dave Tuchsen. Another memorable moment was Jesse Brito winning the People’s Choice Award for his fascinating sculpture “The Wave,” which was voted as a favorite by those attending. Jesse was inspired to create this piece by Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea and the idea of man overcoming adversity.

Once again, the Art Extravaganza was a tremendous success. Students, teachers, and judges celebrated artistic achievement in the MC community together with proud parents and generous patrons.



People’s Choice: “The Wave” by Jesse Brito

Honorable Mention: “Impurity” by Sydney Norman

3rd Place:  “Craniums” by Jack Burnham

2nd Place: ” The Wave ” by Jesse Brito

1st Place: ” Submission “by Kristen Rolstad

Judges’ Choice: “Soda Hand Series” by Alia Anderson-May



Honorable Mention:    “The Portrait” by Grace Flynn-Young

3rd Place for Drawing: “The Greatest” by Will Kieckhefer

2nd Place: “Nicole” by Grace Kripal

1st Place for Drawing: “From Dust” by Kyra Fleischman

Judges’ Choice: “Solidarity” by Peter Jankowski



Honorable Mention: “Periwinkle Haze” by Grace Redman

3rd Place: “Midway on our Life’s Journey” by Finn Semling

2nd Place for Painting: “Flames of Love” by Charlotte Kwok

1st Place for Painting: “The Girl” by Connor Merrion

Judges’ Choice for Painting: “The Creator” by Gladis Fernandez



Honorable Mention: “Best Friends” by Abby Tarantino

3rd Place: “My Cup Runneth Over ” by Claire Keller

2nd Place: “Reflection of Love” by Vinca Rivera-Perez

1st Place: “Awe” by Tara Henry

Judges’ Choice: “Wine Country” by Alexis Greggor