Local artist gives NAHS inductees an assignment


Shannon Ahearn

Jim Felice, an award-winning Connecticut based sculptor, addresses NAHS inductees.

Shannon Ahearn, Staff Writer

Jim Felice, an award-winning Connecticut sculptor, assigned the 2015-2016 NAHS students at Danbury High School a project that he could feature in his trailer box exhibit.

“It will all happen by experimentation, by having fun, and an act of ‘let’s just see what happens,” Felice told around 80 inductees and their parents in the audience. “I have these objects I’m going to give them and I’d like to see you create something that inspires you by living with this object.”

The objects Felice handed out varied from abstract, aluminum circles to blocks of wood filled with holes.

Michael Obre, NAHS adviser and head of the Arts Department, had actually invited another artist to be guest speaker at the chapter’s induction ceremony held on Jan. 20. When the original speaker fell through, the NAHS officers reached out to Felice, and Obre couldn’t have been more pleased.

“Every year, I ask the guest presenter to talk about how art does not have to be the Van Gogh story,” Obre said. “He gave the National Art Honor Society a homework assignment, which I thought was great.”

Throughout his speech, Felice expressed how he was inspired by ordinary pieces. Street graffiti gave him the idea of the trailer box project, which is located here in Danbury. It is a free place where local artists can come to display their work.

Felice’s words and assignment inspired many of the inductees at the ceremony.

Samantha Galbraith, a freshman, says, “Every piece he showed had an interesting story to it and I loved it. Also, I found the objects he gave us to be very unique. I plan on working on the assignment and start thinking more about my work.”

The art Felice has created can be seen throughout Manchester and Fairfield County. He has also won awards including: “Award of Excellence in Sculpture,” “Best in Sculpture,” “2nd Prize in Sculpture” and “2nd Prize in Painting.”

Additionally, Felice talked about his art exhibits being on display worldwide. His work has been part of a set of sculptures that has traveled as far as Italy.

Felice organized a kiosk in which one trades art for the art displayed on the kiosk. It is no surprise that Felice has inspired so many, including Gabriella Cardosa, junior.

“Although his sculptures, one of which was inspired by a urinal, are both magnificent and motivating,” Cardosa said, “his ability to undermine the status quo that artistry is a side job in which no steady income could be made proved even more awe-inspiring.”

She continued that “both students and parents alike were inspired to let go of these societal ideals and follow their hearts.”