BELLEVILLE, IL., MARCH 17, 2014 . . .

Art on the Square, in collaboration with the law firm Mathis, Marifian & Richter, Ltd., (MM&R) this month kicked-off the fourth annual High School Sculpture in the City Program at Governor French Academy in downtown Belleville. The interactive and creative arts program, sponsored exclusively by MM&R since its inception, is this year engaging artist Marina Lee from Milwaukee, Wis., and students from Governor French Academy in a collaborative art project in which they will design one-of-a-kind art sculptures that will be permanently installed at the school.

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In 2010, Art on the Square created the High School Sculpture in the City Program in collaboration with MM&R as a way to bring students and artists together to enhance art education in the community.  To date, the program has been at Belleville West High School, Belleville East High School and Althoff Catholic High School. Each school now proudly exhibits a unique art piece on their campuses as a result of the program.

Dede Farquhar with Art on the Square said, “We love what this program offers to the students in the community in terms of educational value, experience and fun. The depth of experience the students gain from being involved in the High School Sculpture in the City Program is invaluable and it wouldn’t be possible without the support of the artist, schools and Mathis, Marifian & Richter, who provide the financial support to make the program possible.”

Lee spent three days last week working with a core “design team” made up of approximately 10 students in grades six through 12. She also involved the younger grade students too so that the entire school can participate in the creative process and benefit from the experience.

Lee states, “This program offers students a chance to see the world through the eyes of an artist and to really understand the process behind creating public art together. They will do everything from designing to cutting to assembling. It’s their project and they will have lots of hands-on experience creating it.”

Lee and the students are working on two separate art sculptures, but they are keeping the design details under wraps until the sculptures are unveiled at a VIP reception to be held the opening night of Art on the Square.

Phillip Paeltz, headmaster of Governor French Academy, said, “We are extremely pleased to have been selected to participate in this year’s High School Sculpture in the City Program.  What our students’ gain, both creatively and academically, from working with an experienced artist is invaluable.”

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MM&R has supported Art on the Square since its inception in 2002, and it is a committed supporter of local artists through various community outreach programs. Pat Mathis, shareholder at MM&R, commented on how the program is beneficial to the City as a whole.

“The High School Sculpture in the City Program has certainly been well-received by area high schools that have had the opportunity to get their students involved in a real-life design project. Ultimately, the program benefits not just the school, but also the City because it is a contribution of public art. We feel the program is a great contribution to furthering art education and awareness in our community.”

More information about Art on the Square’s High School Sculpture in the City Program is available at Area residents can also follow the progress of the program on Facebook at High School Sculpture in the City Program. 


About MM&R

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. With offices in Belleville, Edwardsville and Nashville, Ill., as well as Clayton, Mo., MM&R’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 visit

About Marina Lee

Marina Lee is an artist from Milwaukee, Wis. specializing in sculpture.  Ms. Lee has participated in Art on the Square 4 or 5 times and she has several art pieces around Belleville, including the “Butterfly” on the wall of the Art on the Square building; “Belleville’s Bloomin” on West Main Street and the notorious “Big Red Shoe” at the corner of West Main and 6th streets.

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