The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

Find Stories and More:

Artistic escape to full-time career

South students explore aspirations in vast fine arts classes
Nicholas DeRosa

When senior Nicholas DeRosa was seven years old, he stumbled upon a drawer with unfamiliar objects at his grandparents house. As he looked at the needles, thread, and buttons in the drawer, his curiosity spiked. That night, DeRosa taught himself to sew and completed his first dress. Then 11 years later, he is committed to the New York Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), the second-best fashion school in the world, according to CEO World Magazine. Art was more than just a hobby for DeRosa; it was a dream. After seven semesters in Fashion Design, DeRosa has fleshed out six clothing collections, a portfolio of gorgeous gowns, and lifelong skills.

“By using my class time selectivity I’ve gained the attention of the Pioneer Press and the Chicago Tribune,” DeRosa said. “[Fashion Design] class has taught me that if I put enough effort into my work I could accomplish great things.”

Now in her seventh semester of fashion, senior Izzie Houk is committed to Indiana University for Fashion Merchandising. In Room 1176, Houk’s creative instincts bloomed into an aspiring career. Although Houk had dreamed about working in the fashion industry, she did not know what that would look like until taking Fashion Design at South, she explained.

“The fashion courses here at South grow your understanding of the industry, sewing, and designing,” Houk said. “Because [the classes] are so hands-on, it is so much easier to learn about all parts of the fashion world. Our Advanced Fashion program doesn’t only push design and creation, but also interest in other areas with a focus on fashion.”

Fashion Teacher Melissa Pfister speaks to South alumni about their jobs and experience in the fashion industry to create this curriculum, giving her students the optimal education as they step into the real world. In addition, Fashion Design has resumed a yearly field trip that was put on hiatus due to COVID-19, where they see the inner workings of Nordstrom, showing students behind-the-scenes jobs at this store.

“It [is] a chance for our students to learn from the experts [and] see what their day-to-day is like,” Pfister said. “[Students] hear what their path was to get there and potentially inspire students to follow suit.”

Pfister has witnessed countless students discover their dream career while taking Fashion Design. Careers in the arts are often unclear to students, however, electives at South are greatly designed to guide students into a career they are passionate about, Pfister explained.

“[At South,] students can find their path [and] identity,” Pfister said.

“Being able to take classes [such as Fashion Design] is an advantage to see a potential career interest. There’s no greater reward than finding a job [where] every single day you show up and love what you do.”

Growing up, junior Lukas House discovered a love for art from the various art museums and productions he attended with his siblings. The large selection of fine arts courses offered at South has enriched his passion.

“I [plan] to pursue art in college because there was never another option,” House said. “The courses at [South] shaped my interest in art by providing an incredible variety of arts to dabble in. I’ve become very active in the theater program, tried sculpture classes, and advanced to the AP Art course.”

House is interested in pursuing both animation and theater in college, he explained. Eventually, he hopes to work for an animation studio that makes movies.

“I’ve loved doing art since I was in elementary school and decided I wanted to make movies before middle school,” House said. “I want to be a part of the creation of something meaningful.”

Freshman Mari Zoljargal is also interested in pursuing art in college and as a career, ideally as a book illustrator. While she has been doing art outside of school for a long time, taking art classes at South has given her a way to visualize what it means to be an artist.

“My dream job in the industry is to be a book illustrator; to directly communicate text through visuals has always been a fun thing to do,” Zoljargal said. “Just being in the art room [at South] is a reminder of the great things that can be created.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Oracle intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Oracle does not allow anonymous comments, and The Oracle requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Oracle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *