Sara Schmetterling and Erin Silverman Earn Senior Spotlight

Montclair High School seniors, Sara Schmetterling and Erin Silverman, intern for the art professor, Cathy Bebout, of Montclair State University.

Sara Schmetterling and Erin Silverman learn all about printmaking.

Sara Schmetterling and Erin Silverman Earn Senior Spotlight
Photo courtesy of Rebecca Brownsword

For Montclair High School’s Career Internship Program, Sara Schmetterling and Erin Silverman are working with Cathy Bebout, who is the head of the BFA program and printmaking at Montclair State University.  These artistic seniors are learning all about the process that goes into printmaking through hand-on work. “Kathy’s having an exhibition in China this summer so we’re prepping for that while we learn printmaking techniques,” said Silverman.

This opportunity is highly beneficial for the seniors. “[We are] learning all the different printmaking processes,” said Schmetterling.

Silverman believes that this internship will help for their future in the world of art. “[This will] prepare us for pursuing art in college, like learning different techniques as well as showing us that art is really like a step by step process and it takes a long time,” said Silverman.

Both Schmetterling and Silverman were a part of Montclair High School’s soccer team. Schmetterling also did lacrosse. Silverman also did track and was a member of Montclair High School’s Sisters on the Runway club. Both seniors were leaders of the Calligraphy Club at the high school. They will miss the Montclair High School art program, especially their teachers Mr. Tucker and Mr. Cleerdin, and the friends they have made.

Bebout is a professor of art at Montclair State University. She is head of the BFA program and she teaches printmaking, papermaking and book art. “I’m mentoring students who plan to go on in a career in studio arts and getting them prepared for their senior thesis exhibition and also for the art world and the challenges it offers them after they leave this institution,” said Bebout.

Bebout believes that the Career Internship Program is very beneficial to the Montclair High School seniors. “I think these two are ideal [for this internship] because they’re both interested in graphics,” said Bebout. “Before there was commercial graphic design, everything was hand printed, so to see the foundations of graphic design in a printmaking class and then to think about when [the interns] move more into the commercial applications, they’ll have a context for when things started and where things are today.”

When asked to pass on some of their wisdom which they have gained over the past year to future seniors, Schmetterling advised to start college applications and portfolios as early as possible. Silverman mentioned that it’s always smart to join clubs.

Next fall, Schmetterling is going to Virginia Commonwealth University for art. “The first year is just fundamentals and then I’ll hopefully pursue graphic design,” she said. Silverman is going to the University of Southern California for fine arts and also hopes to learn graphic design later on.

Written By: Rebecca Brownsword, Caitlin Kennedy, Natalie Toth and Maddy Firkser

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