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Sculpture to be Installed at Althoff Catholic High School

[Belleville, IL, May 17, 2024] – Mathis, Marifian & Richter, Ltd. (MMR) is honored to sponsor Art on the Square’s High School Sculpture in the City program. The program was launched in 2011, and since that time, MMR and Art on the Square have formed a partnership to sustain its impact on the area.  The High School Sculpture in the City program gives local high school art students the opportunity to work alongside a nationally recognized sculptor.  The goal is to foster creativity, promote artistic expression, and enrich the community through meaningful collaboration.

Over the last month, artist Darren Miller has been working with art students at Althoff Catholic High School and art teacher Dave Woesthaus to create a one-of-a-kind sculpture for the city of Belleville.  Miller is best known for his kinetic sculptures and installations which he crafts from metal. With a background in manufacturing, he developed a skill set that now serves as the cornerstone of his sculptural practice.  While in Belleville, he introduced students to his exploration of the relationship of line, form, and negative space as manifest in dance. The piece created together is named First Bloom and is inspired by the revitalizing essence of spring.

“The students at the school embraced the challenge of learning the skills necessary to complete the project and proved themselves to be intelligent, creative, and engaging. The future is in good hands,” shared Miller.

As the official sponsor of the program, MMR is proud to help create such a unique experience for local high school students. Patrick B. Mathis, shareholder of MMR, commented, “We are delighted to contribute to expanding art education in our community. This program offers a highly valuable, hands-on learning experience for high school students in the local area.”  Mathis, Marifian & Richter, Ltd. is a proud supporter of the arts and strives to improve art education by increasing their involvement within the local fine arts community.

On Friday, May 17th, the opening night of the 22nd annual Art on the Square, Arist Darren Miller and Althoff Catholic High School students unveiled their sculpture at the steps of the St. Clair County Courthouse. Mathis, Marifian & Richter, Ltd. shareholders, the Art on the Square Committee, City of Belleville Officials, Althoff Catholic High School student representatives, faculty, and many others attended the unveiling.

First Bloom was enjoyed by Art on the Square’s guests throughout the beautiful weekend and is set to be permanently installed on Althoff Catholic High School’s campus for students, faculty, and the community to enjoy.

Over 100 accomplished artists from over 30 states were present at this year’s annual Art on the Square. Paintings, sculptures, photography, jewelry, and more filled the streets of Downtown Belleville creating a beautiful scene for the local community and artists alike.