facebook page twitter profile instagram page search icon

Saint Ursula Academy Students Create and Donate "Marks of Empowerment" Community Art Piece

Saint Ursula Academy Students Create and Donate "Marks of Empowerment" Community Art Piece

Cincinnati, Ohio – February 10, 2016 – Saint Ursula Academy art students are making a difference in the community by donating a large canvas painting to Dress for Success. The artwork, titled Marks of Empowerment, supports the mission of Saint Ursula Academy and the goal of Dress for Success, to empower women to make a difference in the world.

Students in Kurt Nicaise’s Art II and Art III classes spent several weeks developing their own individual “Mark of Empowerment”, a symbol that meant something different to each girl depending on her definition of Empowerment. The culminating activity resulted in a community arts experience. Under the direction of Mr. Nicaise, the students selected powerful colors and recreated their “Empowerment Mark” repeatedly on a large canvas. The result of this painting created a perfect melding of each individual into a fully diverse community arts piece.

Emily Wachter ’18 of Liberty Township was one of many students who presented the painting to Dress for Success.

“The canvas displays vastly different yet intricate marks that to each of us describe what feminine power looks like. Throughout history women have impacted our society by rising up through struggles and learning from those experiences how to make the world a better place. By using our strong, expressive mark-making, we have painted this image to show our belief that such power shines its light within all of us. We hope to inspire others to believe that they too have the ability to make the same impact as those who came before us,” said Wachter.

The mission of Dress for Success is “to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and development tools to help women thrive”. Tracey Zwick and Debbie Wesseler from Dress for Success accepted the artwork as a gift to agency. The artwork is displayed prominently in their center as a reminder to their clients that they are “empowered” to make a difference in the world.

Saint Ursula Academy is a Catholic, college-preparatory, secondary school for young women known for academic excellence and rich tradition. Saint Ursula welcomes students from more than 90 grade schools in the Greater Cincinnati area. The Academy is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School. The campus, located at 1339 E. McMillan Street in East Walnut Hills has been the home of St. Ursula Academy and Convent since 1910. 86% of the Class of 2016 earned college scholarships totaling more than $22-million.


Saint Ursula Academy Art II and Art III students donated the community art piece titled “Marks of Empowerment” to Dress for Success. Featured in the photo are (l-r) SUA Art Teacher Kurt Nicaise; Lucy Deane ’18 of Crestview Hills, KY; Tracey Zwick, Associate Director of Operations for Dress for Success; Emily Wachter ’18 of Liberty Township; Karena Girten ’18 of Eastgate; Josie Roe ’18 of Newport, KY; Maura Donovan ’19 of Cleves; Edie Lynn ’19 of Monfort Heights; Megan Bair ’17 of Sharonville; Brynna Walchle ’17 of Symmes Township; Alyssa Branca ’18 of Anderson Township; Samantha Bennett ’17 of Batavia Township; Kathryn Suddendorf ’19 of Loveland; Debbie Wesseler, Career Center and Volunteer Coordinator for Dress for Success; and Christina Reynolds ’17 of Colerain Township.