Trattoria San Nicola Invites Local Community to Help Judge its Third Annual Student Art Contest

Local Students Prep their Palette to create Mannerist Masterpieces for San Nicola Art Competition

PAOLI, Pa. – (January 27, 2010) – Local area high school and college students from throughout Chester County set up their easels and picked up their brushes in preparation for the third annual Student Art Contest sponsored by Trattoria San Nicola, a well-loved Italian restaurant, with locations in Berwyn and Paoli, Pa. New this year, dining guests have the opportunity to vote for their favorite pieces and enjoy specially prepared dishes that celebrate the theme of this year’s contest: Mannerism.

As 2010 marks the 500th birthday of renowned Italian Mannerist Jacob Bassano, San Nicola felt it was a perfect opportunity to highlight the importance of this Italian art form. The Mannerist era was an artistic period in Italy that was marked by a move to forms conceived in the mind and introduced personal elements of subjectivity to interpretation of visual forms.

It was also during the Mannerist period that the tomato was introduced to Italian culture and therefore used in many of the traditional Italian dishes of the time. Chef Vito Giannandrea has carefully prepared a special menu of dishes that highlight the tomato, like Insalata di Granchio, an Arugula salad with fresh tomatoes, topped with crabmeat and sun-dried tomatoes. The special tomato dishes are available to guests during the art contest judging period, February 8th – March 8th.

Participating students are producing their own two-dimensional pieces portraying the characteristics of traditional Mannerism. Winners will be chosen based on their artwork’s originality, authenticity, use of medium, use of theme, use of space and a strong focal point. The finalists’ works will be displayed directly inside the entrance of San Nicola Paoli from mid-February through early March 2010. At this time, dining guests will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite pieces, and their votes, in conjunction with those of an independent panel of judges, will determine the winners.

“We thought it would be a great opportunity and a fun way to get community involvement by allowing guests to be part of the judging process, while enjoying traditional dishes with a Mannerist twist,” said Cristina Giannandrea, who co-owns San Nicola with her husband, Chef Vito Giannandrea. “Judging these will certainly be no easy task, and we are thankful to have our guests as a second pair of eyes for this contest.”

The winners will be formally announced in late March 2010. Prizes will be awarded in the following categories: Grades 9–10, grades 11-12, college level and computer graphics.  Winners from each category will have their work displayed in San Nicola Paoli for the remainder of March 2010.

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 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 its Berwyn location, 610.296.3141 or at the Paoli location, 610.695.8990. Reservations for the Paoli location also may be made online at Become a fan on Facebook at