Trattoria San Nicola Honors Winners of Third Annual Student Art Contest

Local high school students’ Mannerist works awarded best of show by restaurant guests and professional artists

PAOLI, Pa. – (April 22, 2010) – Well-loved Italian restaurant Trattoria San Nicola officially announced the winners of their third annual Student Art Contest last week after a two-month judging period. Throughout February and March, the students’ work hung in the Paoli-based restaurant, where patrons of San Nicola were given the opportunity to vote for their favorite pieces. With help from dining guests, local artists Karl Klingelhoeffer and Ardyth Sobyak were called upon to judge and select the final winners.

This year’s contest invited students to submit original artworks exhibiting the characteristics of traditional Mannerist works. Mannerism is an Italian style of art notable for its intellectual sophistication and artificial qualities. The Mannerist era was an artistic period that was marked by a move to forms conceived in the mind and introduced personal elements of subjectivity to interpretation of visual forms.

Dozens of entries were received from students on the Main Line and throughout Chester County. Awards were presented in the fine arts category at two different grade levels: grades 9-10 and grades 11-12. The winners of the student art contest were chosen based on their artwork’s originality, authenticity, use of medium, use of theme, use of space and a strong focal point.

Academy of Notre Dame student and Newtown Square resident, Carolyn Erikson, was named the first place winner for the ninth and tenth grade category. Her artwork is titled “Serenity.” Lina Huang of Wynnewood and student at Agnes Irwin received the second place award for her artwork titled “The Storm.”

Among the eleventh and twelfth grade winners were Agatha Leach of Phoenixville (first place) from Villa Maria, for her piece titled “Jeanne d’arc”, Kelton Sheridan of Villanova (second place) from the Agnes Irwin School and Margo Duey of Chester Springs (third place) from Villa Maria. Honorable mentions were given to Katie Magargee from Villa Maria, Elisabeth Brier from Agnes Irwin, and Joseph Brown and Nathan Kine, both from Octorara High School.

“Mannerist paintings are not the easiest to imitate and the judges were extremely impressed with the students’ efforts, as was I and the rest of the staff at San Nicola,” said Cristina Giannandrea, who co-owns the restaurant with her husband, Chef Vito Giannandrea. “The students’ hard work and dedication is a reflection of the wonderful job the teachers do mentoring them and encouraging them to put their best foot forward at all times. We are pleased to have the support of the schools and local community to help provide a meaningful experience to students and make this such a successful event.”

In celebration of their artistic achievement, all of the winners received cash prizes and gift certificates to Trattoria San Nicola.

About Trattoria San Nicola

Trattoria San Nicola is dedicated to the art of fine Italian dining in a unique, old world setting. Chef Vito Giannandrea and his wife Cristina opened Trattoria San Nicola with the goal of bringing a taste of his Italian homeland to the Chester County, Pa. area. The Berwyn restaurant opened in 1995 and closed recently after the lease expired, and the Paoli location, which offers Wi-Fi access, opened in 2005. Named for the patron saint of the town of Bari, Italy, the restaurants serve a wide variety of Italian dishes for lunch and dinner, including salads, meat and fish specialties and signature pasta dishes. For reservations and more information, please visit or contact the restaurant at 610.695.8990. Reservations may also be made online at