Students Wow Crowds at Expo Attendees Note Advancements in Art Education

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Byline: Eileen O. Daday Daily Herald Correspondent

A marionette began taking shape as Prospect High School senior Jessica Nieczyperowicz of Des Plaines sketched in charcoal before an astonished crowd gathered around her Saturday.

The Advanced Placement art student worked on a 3-foot panel canvas, hoping to add the work to the series of marionettes she is creating for her college portfolio.

"She's working at a college level right now," said Prospect art teacher Barbara Shaffer. "She has so many ideas, and she's so fluid the way she works."

Nieczyperowicz was one of more than 800 students from 14 schools in the Northwest suburbs whose work was displayed at the student art expo at Forest View Educational Center in Arlington Heights, though only she and a few others worked on site.

"I think people are surprised to see what students can do," said Hersey High School senior Bridget Sheehan of Arlington Heights, who had four pieces exhibited.

Students came from Elk Grove, Hersey, Rolling Meadows, Buffalo Grove, and Prospect high schools. Nine of their feeder schools were represented, including Cooper Junior High School in Buffalo Grove; London Middle School in Wheeling; Thomas and South middle schools in Arlington Heights; River Trails, Lincoln and Holmes junior high schools in Mount Prospect; MacArthur Junior High School in Prospect Heights; and Friendship Junior High School in Des Plaines.

"This is such great exposure for the kids' work, to get it out in the community. …