Central Senior Art Show on April 21

Jake Pfeiffer, Staff Writer

Naperville Central High School is hosting its 2022 Senior Art Show on Thursday, April 21 in the main lobby from 6 to 8 p.m.

Prizes will be awarded to the top three works, several honorable mentions and the “People’s Choice Award”—the winner of a popular vote for best piece. Three scholarships will also be awarded, ranging from $1,500 to $5,000.

While the Senior Art Show’s most common participants are AP Studio Art students, the show is also open to work from all seniors in any Naperville Central art class.

The annual show is organized by Central’s Fine Arts department, led by department chair Rebecca Mancuso.

“It’s a really, really great way to wrap up the year, but also to wrap up the four year experience we’ve had with some of these students,” Mancuso said.

An expected 300 works of art will be displayed in Central’s main lobby and Learning Commons, along with a band. Central’s Fine Arts department also plans to provide food and drink.

The Senior Art Show began in the early 2000s after Central was approached about creating a scholarship dedicated to Matthew Voss, an eight year old boy who died of a brain hemorrhage.

Since then, the Senior Art Show has added two more scholarships, dedicated to Theresa Funke and Hannah Paulsen. The Paulsen and Voss scholarships are ongoing, but 2022 will be the final year of the Theresa Funke scholarship.

The students who are awarded scholarships are determined by a guest judge, a role that will be filled in 2022 by Janet Taylor, a former art teacher at Naperville Central.

“Janet is very knowledgeable and has a lot of experience teaching in high school, and she’ll be just excellent,” Mancuso said. “She’ll be very thoughtful in her choices.”

Senior Sara Ducharme is applying to the Hannah Paulsen scholarship, which gives out three to four $2,222 scholarships.

“It would be nice to win scholarships,” Ducharme said. “But I’m going [to the art show] to have a good time.”

AP Studio Art teacher Chris Hodge helps many of his students prepare for the art show.

“I look at [the Senior Art Show] as a prep for selecting works to their portfolio as well,” Hodge said. “You can double dip between those two things. It’s a matter of taking it down from the board [at the art show], and putting it in the portfolio.”

The Senior Art Show often signals the nearing end of the school year for many students and teachers.

“Goodbyes are hard,” Mancuso said. “But I feel like the Senior Art Show is kind of the beginning of the goodbye, and makes it a little easier because you’re celebrating the work that [seniors] have achieved here.”