Artistic vision is a gift. For senior Dominic Calicchio that gift has given him the opportunity to design the artwork chosen to represent this year’s high school production of Hairspray.
Art has always been an interest and part of Calicchio’s life, beginning when he was a young age with an interest in drawing. Upon entering Burlington High School, his talent led him to design and ceramics, and in his senior year he became a member of the Digital Publishing Team.
The Team, a class of 15 talented digital arts students who create designs for the school and the Burlington community, is taught by art faculty member Keith Mistler whose background is in photography and graphic arts.
In January, the Digital Publishing Team students were given the assignment to create the graphic design that would be used in all the print work and publicity for this year’s musical.
Reminded of the significance of the assignment, the students were asked to create a design that would represent everything about the show. To establish a starting point for their work, producing director John Middleton-Cox visited the Digital Publishing team and provided input regarding specific guidelines which included common themes in the play, text and size requirements.
The chosen work would appear on all signage, on the playbill and on apparel that the cast and crew members would sport. It would also take a prominent position joining other theatrical posters that are now on permanent display outside the Fogelberg Performing Arts Center.
The Hairspray assignment took approximately two weeks of class time during which Mistler and his Team watched the movie, researched the time period and brainstormed ideas before starting to sketch on paper. They went to work on their designs and as in all class assignments, it was graded.
Calicchio created his rough design in about a week, was critiqued and after about three to four weeks of hard work was chosen as the Hairspray graphic artist.
“At the beginning of the year I had never worked with any computer art programs and now I’ve been selected with such a great honor,” comments Calicchio. “I took everything in, especially the characters and the themes, and used all of my knowledge to put into my design.”
His creative process goes back to that artistic vision and Calicchio explains it simply. “In my head I can see exactly what I want to create for my Digital Publishing projects and for this project I was able to make it happen!”
Mistler is all praise for his student’s talent. “Dom is a talented and hardworking student. His commitment to the arts is apparent by his innovative and unique designs and his contributions and ideas to the digital publishing class are highly valued.”
Dominic Calicchio isn’t exactly sure what the future holds. Following graduation he plans to enter a college program in criminal justice but spends a lot of time thinking about the arts and if they could be his future.
“I’m an eighteen year old kid who isn’t quite sure what I want to do with my life, so anything can happen.” He continues, “I’m just happy my work is appreciated and I hope it’s exactly what the show is looking for.”
Performances of Hairspray will take place on March 15, 16, 22 and 23 at 7:30 pm and March 24 at 2:00 pm in the Fogelberg Performing Arts Center, a handicapped accessible facility, located at 123 Cambridge Street, Burlington, Massachusetts. Tickets are available online at www.BurlingtonTheatre.com or by phone at 781-A-FUN-TIC.