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Belleville, IL, May 21, 2012. Belleville East High School junior Hanna Jolani, along with shareholders from the law firm of Mathis, Marifian & Richter, Ltd. (MMR), and local artist Kevin Trobaugh, unveiled a new city sculpture to a crowd of several hundred VIP guests attending Art on the Square’s VIP Reception in downtown Belleville Friday May, 18, 2012.

art on the square winner

The sculpture was designed by Jolani as part of the High School Sculpture in the City Program, an interactive arts project that challenges local students to create a one-of-a-kind sculpture for their school campus. The program is sponsored by Mathis, Marifian & Richter, Ltd., a longtime recognized supporter of the arts in Belleville and surrounding communities.

Now in its second year, High School Sculpture in the City engaged more than 150 students and faculty from Belleville East High School in the interactive, cross-curricular project involving the school’s arts and welding departments. Under the guidance of visiting artist Kevin Trobaugh, students learned the fundamentals of public art design and how to create their own maquettes, or small-scale sculpture models. Jolani’s design was chosen from more than 120 student submissions. Once the design was selected, Trobaugh, a union sheet metal welder, worked with the school’s welding students to fabricate the piece.

“I never thought I would get this kind of exposure for my artwork,” stated Jolani. “It’s been so much fun and I’m honored that my design will forever be a part of Belleville East.”

As the official sponsor of the program, Mathis, Marifian & Richter, Ltd., is proud to help create such a unique experience for local students. Pat Mathis, shareholder of MMR, commented, “This is our second year to sponsor the program and it’s just amazing to see the enthusiasm and creativity the students put into it. The program provides a great opportunity for a very valuable, hands-on learning experience.”

Jolani’s sculpture, titled “Omeed” (a Persian word meaning “Hope”), was on display at the Mathis, Marifian & Richter, Ltd., tent on the Illinois Art Walk throughout the weekend. Plans to move the sculpture to its permanent location at Belleville East are still being finalized.

High School Sculpture in the City will continue through Belleville area high schools in years to come so that more students benefit from the experience. The program debuted last year at Belleville West and will continue on to Althoff Catholic High School in 2013.

Art on the Square Art on the Square
Pat Mathis and student designer Hanna Jolani share a laugh at the unveiling ceremony at Art on the Square Pat Mathis, Patty Gregory, director of
Art on the Square, and Hanna Jolani
Art on the Square Art on the Square
Pat Mathis, artist Kevin Trobaugh and Hanna Jolani check out the sculpture design Hanna Jolani, Belleville East art teacher Mark Lasley
and artist Kevin Trobaugh

Established in 1984, Mathis, Marifian & Richter, Ltd., has emerged as one of the most trusted and respected law firms in the St. Louis and Southern Illinois areas. Headquartered in Belleville, Ill., the firm also has offices in Clayton, Mo. and Nashville, Ill. MMR’s principals and associates possess knowledge and experience in practice areas that include business law, taxation, estate planning, employee benefits, banking law, bankruptcy, and commercial and tort litigation. For more information, please