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Senior Kellie St. Oegger Pursues Her Passion for Art

June 6, 2014 by Elaine Rottman

IMG_4114“If I don’t pursue art, it will be a decision I’ll regret the rest of my life.”  With that firm resolve, Kellie St. Oegger, Providence senior, has chosen to attend the Florence Academy of Art in the fall, after spending the summer exploring Europe’s finest art museums.

Providence high school art teacher James Daly says that Kellie’s burgeoning expertise in the classical style of drawing and painting “comes with training and hard work.” Commenting on his student, Mr. Daly says “Kellie has an amazing ability to render what she sees. She sees detail in a way that most students can’t.” Providing an example of Kellie’s special abilities, he notes, “she is attuned to how light reflects into shadows—she sees the reflected light inside the dark.” 

A Providence student since fifth grade, Kellie came to realize that art is her passion after studying portrait and figure drawing in her freshman year. A history buff, she began to read art history books and was stunned to realize “how alive and beautiful a part of history art is.”  

During her junior year Kellie experienced a time period where she felt she was not able to produce “good work,” and she considered other areas of interest, such as archeology. “I tried not to care about art and to rationalize that it wasn’t really central to my life,” she related. A summer program at the Art Institute of Boston, with long hours drawing figures in a professional academic environment reignited her muse and she rediscovered her passion for art as a profession. The search for an art school was on.

Kellie applied to and was accepted at four European colleges and universities and just one American school, the Pratt Institute. She looked at the international schools because they “teach more classically than American schools.”

The Florence Academy of Art suits her interest in learning all she can about painting in the classical realism style. Although she has never been to Europe, Kellie hopes to make it her home for the next phase of her education. After completing her studies in Italy, she plans to pursue a degree in art history and Anglo-Saxon/Scandinavian studies at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.

In 20 years, after traveling all over the world, this passionate adventurer sees herself working in a museum restoring art and also producing her own art professionally while living in a little cottage in Scotland. Whether or not that scenario comes true, Kellie says she trusts God and his plans for her life and she is confident that she will be happy. “Don’t worry too much about finding what you think is exactly right,” she advises. That is wise counsel from a young woman with the vision to see reflected light in the dark shadows.