Xavier Saint Adds Art to the Palm Desert Civic Park

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Olivia Quagliani

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Senior Jacqueline Scibona in Chicago when looking at the Art Institute.

Senior Jacqueline Scibona in Chicago when looking at the Art Institute.

Jacqueline Scibona, Senior ’19, is the first high school student to have her art presented in the Palm Desert Civic Park. She called her artwork “Off the Wonderland Trail”. She initiated this process on her own when she approached City Hall in June of 2018. Jacqueline Scibona shared how she came about this process in an interview, “I had connections in city hall because I am involved in Palm Deserts Youth Committee, which is basically an assembly of high school students who attend meetings to get updated on city events and outreach programs. The woman who runs the meeting also happens to be the commissioner of public arts, so I approached her with my idea. This was not too difficult as I already attended youth meetings on a frequent basis, but when my project was getting approved I had to skip 1st period for some parks and recreation and art meetings involved with the city.” Scibona’s vision of having her art in the park was attained through her courage of stepping outside of her normal routine.

Out of all the parks in the Coachella Valley, her art was placed in the premier location that is Palm Desert Civic Park. She wanted her art in that park because it holds special meaning to her and has memories from time spent there in her youth. She recalled, “ I thought the park was optimal because a lot of people pass through there, so everyone would see it. I also spent a lot of my free time there when I was younger because I had lived close to it. Even now, I go there to skateboard and run.” She mentioned how this process and “the idea was entirely my own because the city has never done something like this before.” Scibona thought about this process for a long time, and she showed people what it takes to get something you want.

Her art consists of two pieces, one depicts a cabin in the woods and the other is a collection of trees one might encounter in the woods. Her inspiration was from a mother and daughter trip she had over the summer. Scibona shared this story, “My mom and I went to Seattle this summer, and we went to Mt. Rainer. There was a hiking trail called the Wonderland Trail. Since there was a sign that said Don’t walk off the trail I obviously was going to do that. I found a cabin poking through the woods with the sun shining down on it, and I thought it was kind of poetic. Then, I thought that putting the woods up against the desertscape would give people something to dream on, to think that maybe the world is bigger than just the desert.”

As it happens with all inspiration and vision, the resulting product takes time to fully develop. Jacqueline Scibona’s artwork was done in stages. First, she sketched and sketched. The original sketch took a week. Then she painted, and that also took a week. The process was long, though, because it took about six months to get the money and approval from the city. The city of Palm Desert wants to continue offering opportunities for young artists. Every two years the city plans to give another Junior or Senior student the chance to create a new mural for the park. The student must want to pursue art post-graduation, and the new mural will be placed in the same spot.

Jacqueline Scibona looks at her reflection in Cloud Gate, aka the Bean, in Chicago’s Millennium Park.

Art is important to lots of people, and Scibona hopes to follow her passion for art in college. She aspires to attend The Art Institute of Chicago in the fall of 2019. She says that if she does not attend that school, then she will attend an art school in Portland, Oregon; she was offered a good scholarship. As a Senior already planning to move forward, Scibona said, “I’m really glad I got to do something positive like that before I leave the desert.” Jacqueline Scibona is a great example of what people could do if they want to do something with enough passion. Regardless of the long process, she set her mind to a vision, and she committed to getting it done. Jacqueline Scibona truly shows others what it means to be a Saint. Congratulations, Jacqueline!




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