Alumni Marie Hain (’06) and Marie Miller (’08) have found much success since leaving Christendom, with Hain becoming an accomplished artist and Miller enjoying a highly successful career as a singer/songwriter in Nashville. Together, they are now pooling their artistic talents to assist the next generation through “Brillante” — an annual summer program focused on helping young artists explore and expand their gifts through original music and artwork.

Hain, who was commissioned by Christendom to do the concept painting of its new Christ the King Chapel, has been busy since graduation. Studying drawing, painting, fresco, and sculpture in Florence, Philadelphia, and New York, Hain wanted to bring all of that knowledge and experience together and share it with today’s youth through art instruction. From there, another idea was born: Brillante, a one-week creative music and art camp, intended to help build confidence and inspire a generation of young people committed to a more beautiful and loving world.

Hain (left) and Miller (right).

In this endeavor, Hain found an ideal partner in Miller, who has made a career out of telling important stories through music. Her reason for writing and performing songs made her perfect for what Hain had in mind for Brillante.

“Having that liberal arts education at Christendom was so important for me in developing my mind and heart, through the amazing time at Mass and through all the classes,” says Miller, whose latest album, Letterbox, made its debut on Billboard, while her previous work was featured on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. “The reason why I’m doing music is because I think of it as a vocation. Even if I’m playing at a regular, secular music venue, the goal in mind is…to bring people closer to God. There’s a lot of bad art out there, so I believe it’s important that good people are in art to influence it for the better.”

Hain, Miller, and Lindsay Hayes, a theater director, are working together this summer as the instructors for Brillante. Hain will teach the art portion of the program, guiding students through true buon fresco. Students will look at some of the most famous fresco works from Europe and use traditional fresco materials, brought straight from Florence, Italy (where Hain is currently working on a sculpture project). For music and theater, Miller is teaming up with Hayes to assist students in creating a story, writing the music, and finally performing in an original musical.

The week will assuredly be fun, but it is intended to strike a deeper chord with students as well — one that Hain carries with her from her time at Christendom.

“Apart from studies specifically on art, my studies in philosophy and theology were helpful on many different levels. For one thing, they taught me how to perceive reality well—or simply to see. As an artist, it is most important to be able to see with one’s eyes as well as with one’s spirit,” says Hain, remembering her studies at Christendom.

That importance of seeing with one’s eyes as well as with one’s spirit is exactly what Hain and Miller are hoping to bring to students through Brillante. The program is decidedly countercultural, inviting youth to take an active participation in artistic endeavors, rather than passively intaking content through smart phones or TVs.

The summer session of Brillante will take place July 8-12. To register, visit BrillanteCamps.com.

To view more from Marie Miller, click here.

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