By Julian De Ocampo ’13
What is an artist?
Is it someone who can paint? Draw? Act? Write?
For senior Michael Notestine ’11, the answer is even more all-encompassing.
“Art is a platform for someone to react to the world around them,” Notestine said.
Notestine meets his criterion then, as he has stepped up to this platform time and time again during his stay at Brophy.
Notestine has taken eight arts classes, including AP Studio Art; acted in three Xavier plays, “Music Man,” “Pride and Prejudice,” and “Fiddler on the Roof”; and student directed a play of his own, this spring’s “Museum.”
In addition, he is also the current Editor-in-Chief of B.L.A.M., the Brophy Literary and Arts Magazine.
Notestine said his acting career began when he took Intro to Acting at Xavier, taught by Mrs. Janice Robillard. Afterwards, he took additional acting classes at Xavier, including Scene Study/Directing, Advanced Acting I and Advanced Acting II. Along the way, Notestine began to act in yearly Xavier plays, culminating in his directing of “Museum” in March, which he called a “necessary experience.”
Notestine expressed his satisfaction with “Museum” but urged students to offer stronger support for the school plays.
“The reaction to ‘Museum’ was awesome, but the turnout was less than awesome,” Notestine said. “Basketball and lacrosse were the same days, but the people who went loved it and thought it was funny.”
Notestine is currently planning on double-majoring in English and Theater, with a minor in French. He said that one day he wants to hold a position comparable to that of Ms. Dorothy Dunnion, as an English teacher who is heavily involved in theater.
His passion for English shows through in other ways; Notestine writes in his free time and devotes time managing the yearly edition of B.L.A.M.
“I want people to understand that (B.L.A.M.) is a showcase of your peers and fellow students,” Notestine said. “For the kids who get published, it’s a huge confidence booster to have a physical copy of your work published and in your hand.”
Although publication in B.L.A.M. is a selective process, Notestine has the credentials to help him manage the publication.
During his four years at Brophy, Notestine has completed Intro to Fine Arts, 2D Drawing and 2D Digital Photography. These classes culminated in his taking of AP Studio Art last semester, which Notestine called the “holy grail” of Brophy’s art program.
AP Studio Art teacher Ms. Debbie Cronin said that Notestine is a “perfectionist” by nature when it came to art.
“Not only is Michael an excellent draftsman with an innate sense of composition, he has the creativity to articulate a new vision for his viewer,” Ms. Cronin said.
Although Notestine repeatedly praised Ms. Cronin as well, he emphasized the need for a communal effort to bring fine arts to prominence at Brophy.
“I think there should be more of an emphasis on the community as a whole,” Notestine said. “It’s really great that they’ve added a lot of art classes, but it’s a vibe that needs encouraging.”
He said that he wishes more students would take the time to support their peers and bring art to the forefront of Brophy’s culture.
“Art is incredibly personal, and it’s not something that’s always relatable,” Notestine said. “I think for Brophy students, especially at an all-guys school, it’s hard for someone to understand that what I’m producing will be different from how it may be perceived.”
For younger, aspiring artists at Brophy, Notestine offered words of advice:
“Take the classes, talk to Mrs. Cronin, Mr. Mulloy, Mr. Kelly, or anyone in the art department. Take what you need to in order to take AP, get as good as you need to get and just see what you can produce.”
Editor’s Note: Notestine is a periodic contributor to The Roundup, but did not take part in the creation of this article. See some of his work on page 15 this month.