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Humans of Delbarton: Delbarton Art Teacher and Artist Ms. Caitlin Servilio
Meghan Podimsky

Inspired by a viral series of profiles and stories known as Humans of New York, Humans of Delbarton illustrates what makes Delbarton, well, Delbarton. Our community is filled with dedicated individuals, from students, faculty and staff, to parents and alumni, and each person has his or her own unique Delbarton Experience to tell.

Meet Delbarton Art Teacher and Artist, Ms. Caitlin Servilio:

Growing up in Washington, NJ alongside her parents and four siblings, Servilio was always interested in the arts and literature. With a bachelor's degree in Studio Art from American University, Servilio celebrates her seventh year at Delbarton. Continuing her studies, she went on to achieve her master's degree in Library and Information Science from Rutgers University. “At one point, I planned to become an art librarian. That's someone who works at a special collection of art materials, often in museums or universities,” Servilio said. While balancing her responsibilities as a teacher and fulfilling her passion as an artist, Servilio is working towards a Master of Fine Arts degree from Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. “Every summer, the day after finals end, I travel to Baltimore for my MFA work. This is my last year in the program!”

Prior to landing at Delbarton, Servilio worked in the insurance industry searching for a way to dive into the world of art. “After a while, I knew I wanted to be in a field where art would be part of my daily life,” she explained. “It was not easy to become a teacher at that point. It was scary to leave a steady job and start all over but I'm so glad I did.”

Servilio is a part of Delbarton’s art department where she works alongside Dom Rodi and Diane Lopez in visual arts. “I enjoy any lesson with color, whether pastel, painting, or colored pencil.” One of her favorite lesson plans is exposing her students to the pottery wheel. “I also really enjoy working with my Form & Sculpture students on ceramic projects, such as when we throw on the pottery wheel.  It's messy, but a ton of fun!” Delbarton’s art facilities allow students to deep dive into whatever sparks their creative interests. From painting to pottery, photography and etching, the Fine Arts Center is the Green Wave’s one-stop-shop for all things creative. “I encourage students, parents, and teachers who have never been to the Art Department to visit us sometime in the Fine Arts Center and see what we're up to!”

Creative thinking comes in waves and in an art class, it can be challenging to stay inspired day in and day out. But Servilio encourages her students to practice as much as possible to keep the creativity flowing. She motivates Delbarton artists to not just settle for the first, most obvious thing that comes to mind but to work through their ideas and make them as authentic and personal as possible. “Ultimately, the most creative thing is going to be the one that's most specific and personal to you, because you'll approach it in a way that no one else would think to try. Therefore, anyone can be creative!”

Teaching art at Delbarton for seven years has helped Servilio in her own work as she is an artist outside of her teaching duties. Drawing inspiration from Surrealist artists such as Grete Stern and Kitawaki Noboru, Servilio is working with mixed media in her pieces. Mixed media is a combination of mediums coming together to create a bigger piece. In her recent works, she has been inspired by nature and environmental issues. "One of my recent pieces is called "Forecasts."  I made it after learning about companies that use drones to do cloud seeding. In other words, trying to create weather." Earlier this month, she was featured in an Art Exhibition at The Art Establishment in Fountain Hill, PA.

Forecasts by Caitlin Servilio, photographed by Vivian Doering

After school, you can find Servilio moderating Delbarton’s Photography Club. This club is perfect for students who are looking for a creative outlet, even if they aren’t taking an art class here at School. “Photography is just about capturing an instant in time, noticing something interesting, unusual, or beautiful. That could be a game-winning touchdown or a quiet moment of light filtering through the trees. It's never been easier to take photos, but there's also so much to learn,” she explained. “Also, being a photographer gives you an excuse to show up anywhere!” Servilio encourages the whole school to get involved in the Club’s recent Photo of the Month Competition. It’s the perfect time to capture fall scenes and anything spooky as Delbarton gears up for Halloween. All students are welcome to submit a photo here and enter this month's competition.


Look out next month for our next story, and click here to recommend a member of Delbarton’s community for us to profile; students, staff, alumni, parents... ALL are welcome!