River Lights and Villanova renew partnership through art


By Joel Charron

The River lights Winter Festival and the senior Villanova art students are at it again.

St. Thomas of Villanova art teacher Lisa Bastien has had her Grade 12 art students working on pieces of art that will be on display at the Warming House for the upcoming River Light Festival.

Bastien said she was working with River Lights committee member Mark and Karen Usher during March Break repairing the other relief sculptures when Karen mentioned it would be nice to get more on display.

“They wanted more art work for the interior space, to go above the gingerbread areas,” said Bastien.

Once the school year kicked up, Bastien approached her students about the idea.

“They were all for it. It’s just another great opportunity,” she said.

Gingerbread is the theme for the relief sculptures this year.


Grade 12 Villanova art students show off their unfishined work they are preapring for the River Lights Winter Festival.

“There is a lot of creativity and they are different from the other pieces,” said Bastien.

Bastien also noted that this is the first time her current students had done any public art or had any experience with the type of material they were using, however once the creative process started a “level of enthusiasm” took over.

“This project has been so much fun,” said Grade 12 art student Serina Timperio. “Our other assignments before this were a little stressful, this is just really fun.”

The Grade 12 art class will produce seven separate pieces for the Warming House.

Last Thursday morning, River Lights chairperson Karen Gyorgy dropped by Bastien’s class to thank the students personally and see the student’s progress thus far.

“I think the work is absolutely amazing,” stated Gyorgy. “I can’t believe the quality work that these students put forth. It’s breathtaking.”

Gyorgy said the partnership between River Light and Bastien’s art class has been a very enjoyable since day one.

“A partnership like this, with these young people, speaks so highly of what River Lights is trying to accomplish,” said Gyorgy.

“The students love that they can continue to give back to the community,” said Bastien. “Art has a role in that and it not just in a classroom.”

Villanova art student Ashley Paling said preparing working that would be displayed for thousands of people is “scary.”

don’t know how people will respond to your work,” said Paling. “You put yourself into your work so you want people to like it, but I think we will get a good reception.”

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