Alumnus presents gift to Saint Patrick in honor of “Chicago’s Finest”
This past October, an alumnus bestowed a unique and one of a kind gift to Saint Patrick High School in recognition of its many alumni in law enforcement. The gift, a painting entitled, “Chicago’s Finest,” depicts older versions of Chicago Police Department (CPD) squad cars on a modern day street and contains several subliminal messages – many of which represent Saint Patrick. Seventeen alumni, all active or retired Chicago Police Officers, were on hand to welcome the alumnus, along with the Turkish artist he commissioned, as he presented the work of art to the school.
Nihat Evren Derman, a well-known Turkish artist from Sisli, Turkey, spent two months on the painting and traveled overseas to deliver it to Belmont & Austin. A renowned painter, Nihat has created hundreds of pieces, most notably for the premier Turkish football club Beşiktaş Jimnastik Kulübü, BJK or Beşiktaş for short. Founded in 1903, Beşiktaş is one of Turkey’s most successful football clubs. Nihat’s artwork, featured regularly in the club’s monthly magazine, is often created to shine light on a social issue affecting the world today with some sort of tie to the Beşiktaş team.
The inspiration for the “Chicago’s Finest” painting came from Nihat’s admiration for law enforcement in the U.S. and Chicago architecture. In addition, the ’00 alumnus, who wishes to remain anonymous, commissioned Nihat for the painting to recognize a police department he highly respects and the school that gave him so much. “I wanted to give back to Saint Patrick,” he said. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without the school and all the amazing people in it.”
The alumnus provided Nihat basic details about Saint Patrick and the CPD. Using the information, the painter created a piece that shows police cars on an empty street in downtown Chicago using a scene from the movie Blues Brothers. “From a distance it looks like a nice work of art,” Dominic Angelo, Director of Alumni Relations, said, “If you look closely though, you can see the amount of detail and thought that went into the painting.”
For instance, three of the four squad cars include a Chicago Police star to highlight the 15 club team championships and three stars on the Beşiktaş uniforms. The artist included the initials and founding years of Saint Patrick (SPHS 1861), the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP 1963), and Beşiktaş Jimnastik Kulübü (BJK 1903) on the three visible license plates. Lastly, the Saint Patrick Shamrock is in the center of each star with the flag depicting the school shield hanging from a building with other Chicago flags.
The alumnus and painter also presented the school with custom made 2018 calendars featuring the painting. Money raised from the calendars will help fund the Father Thomas A. Mulcrone First Responders Scholarship, tuition assistance provided to sons of police officers, firefighters and paramedics. Anyone who makes a donation of $100 or more to the First Responders Scholarship Fund is eligible to receive a calendar. To donate to the First Responder Scholarship Fund, click here. For questions, please contact Dominic Angelo ’03, Director of Alumni Relations, at Dangelo@stpatrick.org or 773.282.8844 ext. 278.
Among the alumni in attendance with Saint Patrick administration for the presentation of the painting were: Anthony Bertuca ’67, Richard Schak ’67, Terry Downes ’88, Dave Koenig ’90, Tim Duggan ’95, Tim Hawkins ’02, Mike Bryant ’08, Ken Schak ’03, Dean Angelo Jr. ’02, and former Union President of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 in Chicago, Dean Angelo Sr. ’72, who presented Nihat with a pin from the Chicago Memorial Foundation.