In a letter to artists, Pope St. John Paul II wrote, “None can sense more deeply than you artists, ingenious creators of beauty that you are, something of the pathos with which God at the dawn of creation looked upon the work of his hands. A glimmer of that feeling has shone so often in your eyes when – like the artists of every age – captivated by the hidden power of sounds and words, colours and shapes, you have admired the work of your inspiration, sensing in it some echo of the mystery of creation with which God, the sole creator of all things, has wished in some way to associate you” (Letter to Artists, 1999). Following this example, Venango Catholic High School encourages students to explore and nurture their artistic talents in both performance and visual arts.
VC High School students have the chance share their musical gifts as part of the student-directed chapel choir. They can also participate in marching band and musical theater (both acting and orchestra) in cooperation with the Oil City Area School District. VC also produces its own stage productions. Recent offerings include The Princess Bride, The Importance of Being Earnest, Willy Wonka, as well as student-written and student-produced plays.
Judy Frost brings years of teaching experience to her work at Venango Catholic High School. Over the years, VC students have:
- Shown their work at the Young People’s Art Festival, the Oil Heritage Art Show, and the VC Art Show in May each year.
- Entered and won contests such as the Franklin Applefest logo design competition
- Worked with various artists-in-residence who come to VC to share their craft, including Joe Gerzina, who taught the art of glass cutting and stained glass production. A student-produced stained glass window is currently in the school chapel.
- Produced a video documentary called “History in Our Backyard” presented at the Pennsylvania State University.
- Learned the connections between the Catholic faith, the various academic subjects, and the arts
“Small casts putting on large productions encourages students to play multiple roles, expanding their theatrical experience into new areas”
Peter Smith ’08
“VC drama was an enriching experience and enabled me to gain the skills that allow me to audition for shows in college”
Ben Maust ’10
“I feel super fortunate to be a part of the drama department at VC – it’s probably the most fun acting I have ever had and I love everything about it!”
Kelsey Gehring ’15
“The VC Theater Department is always able to pull off amazing shows because of the incredible dedication from students and teachers!”
Christopher “Critter” Fink ’15