Fine Arts @ DGN Mission

North High School endeavors to provide an enriching, vibrant, multidisciplinary environment for the study, creation, and presentation of the Fine Arts.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

DGN Choir Returns From Successful West Coast Tour

Congratulations to the members of the DGN Choirs, and the faculty/staff associated with the recent tour, for a successful set of performances/clinics in California! Welcome home!

Check out the official L.A. TOUR BLOG for a full photo recap from each day.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

DGN Choir Embarks on California Tour

The members of the DGN Choirs have departed North High and are now en route to a much warmer Los Angeles, CA, where the choirs will tour and perform. Travel mercies to all, and best wishes for a smooth trip!

National Black History Month Spotlight: Amy Sherald (born August 30, 1973)

February is Black History Month, and @DGNFineArts is pleased to spotlight the pioneering work of African American artists.
Amy Sherald ( an American painter based in Baltimore, Maryland. She is best known for her portrait paintings. Her choices of subjects look to enlarge the genre of American art historical realism by telling African-American stories within their own tradition.

She first came to prominence in 2016 when her painting, Miss Everything (Unsuppressed Deliverance), won the National Portrait Gallery's Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition. The competition noted that "Sherald creates innovative, dynamic portraits that, through color and form, confront the psychological effects of stereotypical imagery on African-American subjects". She was the first woman to win the competition. Sherald's first solo exhibition, titled "the heart of the matter..." took place in fall 2019 at the Hauser & Wirth gallery in New York City.

The year after Sherald won the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, she was chosen by First Lady Michelle Obama to paint her official portrait. On February 12, 2018 the National Portrait Gallery unveiled the portrait, making Sherald the first African-American woman to paint an official First Lady portrait. The double portrait unveiling ceremony was attended by Barack and Michelle Obama. It was noted that Sherald and Kehinde Wiley, the painter of Barack Obama's portrait, were the first African-American artists to make official presidential portraits at the National Portrait Gallery, and also as artists who each early on prioritized African-American portraiture. Holland Cotter noted in a review that they both blend fact and fiction in their portraiture.

Sherald's portrait of Obama drew high numbers of visitors to the National Portrait Gallery.

Gema Perez, Wins Best of Show in Photography at the High School Art Competition & Exhibition at the University of St. Francis

Congratulations to Gema Perez, who won Best of Show in Photography at the University of St. Francis! Her work was displayed at the University of St. Francis Art Gallery in Joliet, Illinois from January 14th through Jan 30th of 2020. Along with winning best of show, Gema was awarded a 4-year scholarship to the University of St. Francis after a portfolio review with professors in the Photography Department.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

DGN Honors Scholastic Art & Writing Award Winners

Congratulations to our DGN student Visual Artists and Writers who have recently received regional honors from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards! Students were recognized this morning at a special breakfast/awards presentation. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

DGN Musicians Shine at Winter Choir Concert

Combined DGN Choirs
Congratulations to the members of the DGN Choirs for an outstanding performance at the 2020 Winter Choir Concert!

Combined Bass Choir

Concert Choir

Freshman Ensemble

All Access

Concert Singers

Freshman Choir

Treble Ensemble

Chamber Choir

Treble Choir

A Cappella Choir

Combined Treble Choir

DGN Visual Artists Top 1 Million In Scholarship Offers Through IHSAE

BRIDGEPORT, CHICAGO, Sunday, March 8th, 2020 — The best student artists from approximately 100+ Illinois high schools will converge to showcase their art and vie for more than $88,000,000 in college scholarships offered at the 8th  Annual Illinois High School Art Exhibition (IHSAE). DGN students Belle Blanchard, Amanda Courtney, Audrey Dwyer, Suzanna Erickson, Danielle Garguilo, Meghan McConaghy, Gema Perez, Sophie Peters, and Andy Thompson  have collectively received over $1,140,000 in scholarship offers with more scholarships still being processed as of press time! 

Belle Blanchard, Audrey Dwyer, Danielle Garguilo, Meghan McConaghy, and Gema Perez will have their artwork displayed at the Senior Show and Gavin Crowson, Eric Bican, Gracie Gwozdz, Lillian Cawthorne, and Jack Oakes will have their artwork displayed at the General Show as part of the Illinois High School Art Exhibition.  These art shows run from Tuesday, March 3rd through Friday, April 3rd at the Bridgeport Art Center in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood.
A public opening for both shows will be hosted on Sunday, March 8th from 11am-6pm at the Bridgeport Art Center (1200 W 35th St, Chicago, IL 60609).

IHSAE has partnered with more than 40 art schools, colleges and universities from across the nation; most of which, will be on hand to meet with students and parents at the College Recruitment Fair, running from 10am-2pm.
“Quinn” by Gavin Crowson
”The Executive Decision” by Jack Oakes
“Inside Out” by Eric Bican
“Glamorous” by Lillian Cawthorne
“Hail Satan” by Gracie Gwozdz

Winter Choir Concert - Tonight at DGN!

Join us tonight at 7:00 PM in the Clarence Johnson Auditorium for the Winter Choral Concert featuring all DGN Choirs.

This evening's concert will be live-streamed on the DGN Fine Arts Department YouTube Channel

Monday, February 10, 2020

DGN Winter Guard - 2nd Place at Naperville Central Winter Guard Contest

The winter guard kept its momentum going this weekend as they secured a 2nd place win at the Naperville Central Winter Guard Contest on February 9. Earning a score of 55.01, the team continued to make great strides toward perfecting their show. Great job, winter guard! 

Be sure to check out their next competition at Downers Grove South High School on February 23rd where they will be performing shortly after 11:30 AM.

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

D99 Jazz in Clinic and Concert with NIU Jazz Orchestra

The student musicians of the DGN and DGS Jazz Bands participated in an educational clinic and concert with the internationally acclaimed Northern Illinois University Jazz Orchestra. Led by Professor Reggie Thomas, and featuring guest artist Todd Williams (Saxophone), the NIU Jazz Orchestra performed an exciting set that kept the audience engaged and cheering for more.

Congratulations to the members of the DGN and DGN Jazz programs for their outstanding performances tonight at the Tivoli theater in Downers Grove. It was a pleasure and honor for our students to open for the great Northern Illinois University Jazz Orchestra!

DGS Jazz Workshop

DGN Jazz Lab Band

DGS Jazz Lab Band

DGN Jazz Ensemble

DGS Jazz Ensemble

NIU Jazz Orchestra

NIU Jazz Orchestra with Guest Artist, Todd Williams

Monday, February 03, 2020

National Black History Month Spotlight: William Grant Still (1895-1978)

February is Black History Month, and @DGNFineArts is pleased to spotlight the pioneering work of African American artists.

William Grant Still (1895-1978) was a conductor and composer. He was the first African-American to have both a major symphony production (1931) and produce an opera (1949). Still’s Afro-American Symphony marked the first time a symphony composed by an African-American would be played by a major orchestra.

Sunday, February 02, 2020

DGN Playwright Recognized with Multiple Awards


DGN thespian Audrey Dwyer's play PTO No!, a hilarious spoof of power struggles in a school's parent/teacher assocation, was selected from student submissions around the Midwest to be performed in the 10-Minute Play Festival at Eureka College in early April.

The same play was also recognized with a Gold Key award in the prestigious Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

Congratulations Audrey!

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp - Campus Interviews - February 18

The Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp (in Michigan) is one of the nation’s leading arts immersion camps.  BLFAC is a non-profit summer school of the arts specializing in two-week arts programs for intermediate and high school students. 

Because there is a strong tradition of highly qualified District 99 students attending Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, the institution actively recruits in our schools.  Additionally, BLFAC sends a representative to our building each February to hear interested students play and sing.  From those interviews, BLFAC frequently awards merit-based scholarships to attend the camp.  This year’s BLFAC interviews will be held on Tuesday, February 18th, 4th - 8th periods and for a short time after school.  If you are interested in playing or singing a short audition for the BLFAC rep, please express your interest on a sign-up sheet in the Fine Arts Office (room 131). Please see Ms. Moran or your music teacher to sign up for a time

What should you be prepared to play or sing in your audition?  Plan to perform 2-3 min of music that you have been working on with a private music teacher, or in class.  This could be an etude, a solo, or a piece of literature that you have really enjoyed studying.  Pick something that shows off your abilities!

The Blue Lake representative will share some basic information with the student to take home to parents.  In the meantime, you are encouraged to check out Blue Lake’s website at  

Many DGN students have received significant scholarships to attend Blue Lake as a result of these interviews. Please consider this fabulous opportunity!