When Emiliano Settecasi was a kid, he usually got art supplies as gifts. He grew up in that environment.
His father was from Italy and transferred a fine history of the arts to his son, now a senior at Jesuit High School. Settecasi won last week’s Celebration of Arts festival at Jesuit, taking the title for Best in Show and Art Portfolios.
And all those art lessons and gifts have paid off. He will be attending a prestigious arts academy in New York next year, taking a portfolio of work that looks like the work of someone who could easily own his own art studio. That’s not a bad idea, Settecasi said, and he wants to take it to that level after college.
“It’s always been in my blood,” he said. “I’ve been doing art my whole life, as long as I can remember.’’
To him, color and faces the key. All of his works – and he uses many types of canvases and tools, including burlap and duct tape – include plenty of color. He even admits that sometimes when he is with friends he has to stop his mind from wandering as he stares into their faces, thinking of how they can be transformed into art.
“Color communicates feelings and emotions,’’ Settecasi said. “You can show someone’s personality by using colors alone. I like to look at people when they walk by. Every face gives me a different idea of how I can change it into an art form.’’
One of Settecasi’s favorite pieces of work is a large piece, recently finished and displayed at the Jesuit show. It features a simple self-portrait with a melancholy look, surrounded by torn up college brochures from many of the schools that were trying to recruit him. His own face is done in two simple colors on a piece of cardboard.
“I just threw all those brochures on the floor and put them on the canvas,’’ Settecasi said. “I just came up with the idea and put it all together.’’
His Best in Show award came from a three-dimensional image he called Underwater Costume Party. It featured four people inside a glass case with a background and a light bulb at the top of the case.
Settecasi said his ideas just come to him, and once they do, it doesn’t take long to get working on them. As for the finished projects, Settecasi sells some of them but gives away even more to family members and friends. He hasn’t had a private show yet but plans to make a living out of it once he leaves school.