With Visiting Swiss Artist Verena Brassel, Wilmette Junior High Students Create Moving Artwork to Honor Courageous People

In May, the D39 Educational Foundation and Wilmette Public Schools District 39 partnered to host visiting Swiss Artist Verena Brassel at Wilmette Junior High School. The European artist conducted a workshop with 8th grade students enrolled in Painting and Ceramics on the theme of Courageous People. This outstanding collection of work is currently on display at the Community Recreation Center, 3000 Glenview Road in Wilmette.

While the artist has led workshops in Germany and Switzerland, this was her first opportunity to work with American students. Brassel comments: "It is a great honor for me to share the Courageous People Workshop with American students and to make a small contribution to helping young people think and reflect on our history - with its alternately dark and light face. It is challenging to convey history and express personal feelings in a painting, but it is important to tackle these tough subjects to ensure that we never forget."

The show runs through July 30 on the first floor of the Community Recreation Center, 3000 Glenview Road, Wilmette.

Art Department Staff

Rick Flintz, visual arts coordinator, is a ceramics and youth art instructor, primarily teaching pottery and hand-built ceramics. He holds a Fine Arts degree with dual emphasis in pottery and design. He is also a freelance artist, creating watercolor paintings and ink sketches that have been sold nationwide.

Jan Borre has her degree from the Art Institute of Chicago and has become a popular instructor at the Wilmette Park District. Talented in many areas, Jan brings her expertise and creativity to her preschool and youth classes, as well as unique seasonal workshops.

Kathleen Brej has a degree from the American Academy of Art with an emphasis on drawing and design. She has worked as a graphic illustrator and has done extensive freelance work. Kathleen is a well-liked instructor with our multi-genre classes, such as Theater & Art.

Laurie Panucci has a M.A. in elementary education from DePaul University, but has found passion and gratification working with adults. In her ceramics classes students have created bowls, vases, plates and a variety of decorative and distinctive pieces.

Katy Russell learned to knit and crochet as an elementary school student and has become a well-known expert in yarns and technical skills.

Judee Sims has shared her expertise and creativity with many students in a variety of classes over the years. Her background in fine arts allows her to give students proper instruction, structure and foundation, while her personality allows young artists the freedom to be creative, insightful and to have fun.