This year Science, Arts and Letters Night came nothing short of spectacular: lively Jazz music filled the second floor hallway as it filled with families, students and teachers; different scented soaps — lavender, citrus, mint and more — wafted through the air in the library; various photographs, paintings and sculptures lined the ledge and the walls; and beside the Jazz band, some artists painted and sculpted right then and there.
Among these artists was Mark Mercier, a junior at Community High School. Mercier was painting the Notre Dame Cathedral when it was ablaze on April 15, 2019 while people stopped to take a look. With a pallet in his left hand and a brush in his right, Mercier laid down dark colors — blacks, blues and grays — with hints of bright colors here and there — oranges, reds and yellows. Among the smudged brush strokes, Mercier used vertical and horizontal lines, juxtaposing the smoke and flames with the cathedral building. By using clear dark lines for the building it made the fire seem that much more intense and obvious.
Although Mercier went to previous Science, Arts and Letters Nights, this was the first one where he painted live. Even if Mercier was a little nervous during the night, he still loved painting in front of everyone.
Before now, however, Mercier wasn’t comfortable putting his art out there. Especially, with all the things he had to tackle: family problems, struggling with his identity and struggling with relationships.
“For the most part, I didn’t feel like putting it [my artwork] out there because it was literally like putting my own heart [out there],” Mercier said.
Now, Mercier has been trying to share more of his art and feels more comfortable doing so.
“It just made me happy to be surrounded by art,” Mercier said.
Since Mercier has been trying to open up more recently, this night was the perfect night to step outside of his comfort zones, and it turned out to be for the better. His favorite part of the night turned out to be talking with people about his art.
“Talking to people about what I like to do and what I love, I feel like it helps me radiate positivity, which is new for me,” Mercier said.
In the end, Science, Arts and Letters Night wrapped up with the jazz band slowly coming to a stop, and Mercier finishing his painting.