Fine Arts Hall of Fame

Introducing the Magnificat Fine Arts Hall of Fame! 

The Magnificat High School Fine Arts Hall of Fame has been established to recognize and honor alumnae, faculty, and friends of Magnificat High School who have distinguished themselves in one or more of the various fields of the Fine Arts. Members of the Magnificat Fine Arts Hall of Fame exemplify the Magnificat Mission “to learn, lead, and serve in the spirit of Mary’s Magnificat.”

Areas of Fine Arts include, but are not limited to, literary arts, media arts, performing arts and visual arts.

Hall of Fame nominees must follow the below criteria: 
1. Individuals who have attended Magnificat High School and have graduated no less than 5 years prior to their acceptance into the Hall of Fame. An individual may be accepted into the Hall of Fame posthumously. Qualifications for evaluation will include their involvement and achievements in the Fine Arts as a MHS student, as well as their accomplishments and contributions in Fine Arts fields after graduation at the amateur and/or professional level. 

2. Individuals who have served as teachers, directors, or advisors and have made significant contributions through their dedicated work with students in Fine Arts curricular, co-curricular and extra curricular programs at Magnificat High School. 

3. Individuals who have participated in the Magnificat Theater program but who are not alumnae of MHS. Qualifications for evaluation will include their involvement and achievements in the MHS Theater Department, as well as their accomplishments and contributions in Fine Arts fields after graduation at the amateur and/or professional level. 

This event will be held bi-annually; the first Induction Ceremony took place on Friday, September 22, 2023. View photos from the event here. 
Megan Malley Cannon has worked on major television shows and movies as a set decorator for over 20 years. She is a part of the Set Decorators Society of America and Women in Film & Television Ohio. Her credits include: A Lot Like Love, Bones, Bruno, CSI: Miami, Shooting Stars, and White Noise.

Megan has always had an eye for photography. At Magnificat, she was a photo editor for the newspaper and the yearbook. After Magnificat, Megan studied abroad at the Studio Art Center International in Florence, Italy, and the School of Photographic Studies in Prague, Czech Republic. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in fine arts with a concentration on photography from Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts. 

Bolstered by a true sense of achievement and possibility, following college she persisted in taking chances, setting her sights on a career in television and film production in Hollywood. She first served as a production assistant in a studio art department, then progressed to roles including buyer and assistant set decorator, and finally led a set decorating department. Megan and her family moved back to Cleveland in 2018, where she continues to work on local productions.

    • Megan Malley Cannon '93

    • Megan Malley Cannon '93

    • Patti DiBenedetto Corna '65

    • Patti DiBenedetto Corna '65

Patti DiBenedetto Corna has always been interested in the arts, taking painting and sculpture classes during college, but she did not pursue a career in the arts until years later. The death of her father in 1987 had a profound impact on Patti, and she found solace in painting. Since then, she has been painting professionally for the past 30 years, using a variety of wood and metal tools to add to her unique application of paint and texture. Her entire body of work is created without the use of traditional paint brushes. 

Patti has appeared on television, hosted the Patti D. Radio Show for 18 years, and given lectures and art demonstrations showing her unusual art technique around the country. She was included in Cleveland Magazine’s “The 50 Most Interesting People of 1997.”

Her work can be seen in notable galleries in Dubai, Boca Raton, Rome, Florence, New York, Chautauqua, and Ohio. Her work is also featured in numerous corporate and private collections, including those of Luciano Pavarotti, Daniel Day-Lewis, Cameron Diaz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Al Pacino, Gwyneth Paltrow, and many others. Her work can also be viewed at the Patti DiBenedetto gallery at the Ohio Design Center in Beachwood.

Sheila Matyjasik Edwards is a designer and professor of furniture design at Savannah College of Art and Design. The courses she teaches include digital fabrication, design theory, history of furniture, upholstery, and capstone studios. She also maintains a consultancy that provides product development and design services. 

At Magnificat, Sheila took numerous electives in visual arts with Zoe Murphy and participated in choir and yearbook. While in high school, she worked at Harrison’s Landing, a fine furniture and interior design store in Rocky River. The range of creative opportunities she took advantage of during her time in high school allowed her to try many different paths in the arts and ultimately led to her career in design and education. 

Sheila is a member of The Furniture Society, the International Society of Furniture Designers, and WithIt, which develops leadership, mentoring, and networking opportunities for professional women in the home and furnishings industries. She has also been recognized with a Georgia Honor Award for collaborating across several disciplines to model next generation micro housing through a SCAD initiative on the homeless crisis.

Last school year, Sheila shared her talents with Magnificat students during a Design Workshop for the AP Art & Design Class.

    • Sheila Matyjasik Edwards '88

    • Sheila Matyjasik Edwards '88

    • Kiki Dettling Goshay '77

    • Kiki Dettling Goshay '77

Kiki Dettling Goshay is the founder of Goshay Productions, through which she has worked on both narrative and documentary films. Her passion is using the media for positive social impact.

Her film credits include:
  • “Empowered”, a documentary series celebrating the research, technology, innovation, and collaboration that has paved the way for a renewable energy future, which she produced and directed; 
  • “Not Alone”, a documentary film created to shed light and end the stigma around teen mental illness and prevent youth suicide, which she produced and directed.
  • “How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company ... and Enjoy It”, a feature documentary film on the life of Black filmmaker, Melvin Van Peeble, which she produced.

She is also heavily involved in her community as a licensed foster parent, a founding board member of Cool The Earth, a board member of the Captain Planet Foundation, a member of the International Women's Forum, a member of the Bay Area Women Directors Collective, and more.

Sr. Paulette Kirschensteiner is a member of the Sisters of the Humility of Mary community, director of Villa Maria Circle of Prayer, and a former visual arts faculty member at Magnificat. She is also an award winning artist, working in all types of visual arts media. 

Sr. Paulette received her Bachelor of Arts in art education from Ursuline College and her Master of Arts in fiber arts from Kent State University. In 1990, she opened a studio in North Canton, where she worked on her thesis and commissioned work for some Churches, Jewish Temples, and art shows. 

Her work is also very present at Villa Maria Community Center, especially in the Magnificat

As Brittan mentioned earlier, she said, “Sr. Paulette was a significant role model and a true inspiration for me during my creative life’s journey. Her teaching methods and strategies influenced me as a student, an art educator and an artist. Her approach was kind and patient, and she inspired her students with the creative tools they needed to grow as artists.”

    • Sr. Paulette Kirschensteiner, H.M.

    • Sr. Paulette Kirschensteiner, H.M.

    • Sr. Rose Marie Kramer, H.M.

    • Sr. Rose Marie Kramer, H.M.

Sr. Rose Marie Kramer joined Magnificat in its early years and, through her work with theater including the Drama Club, Speech Meets, and One Act play competitions, began laying the foundation for an outstanding theater program for the school. She directed numerous plays and other productions during her time at Magnificat, including Pygmalion, The Music Man, Fiddler on the Roof, The King and I, and The Unsinkable Molly Brown. During her six years at Magnificat, she taught biology, English, and religion, while also serving as the moderator for both speech and dramatics.

Sr. Rose Marie received her bachelor’s degree from Seton Hill College in Pennsylvania and a master’s degree from Manhattanville College in New York. She began her education ministry as a teacher at St. John High School in Ashtabula before coming to Magnificat. 

In 1967, she left Magnificat to serve as the Directress of the Juniorate for sisters in temporary vows at Lourdes Education Center in Cleveland. While there, she challenged the sisters to present an annual play, all of which included Magnificat High School graduates who had entered the H.M. Community. 

Sister Rose Marie returned to Magnificat as a teacher from 1973-1977 and continued to share her love of theater with the students.

In her nomination, Karen Walsh, class of 1965, said, “Sr. Rose Marie made theater a wonderful learning experience filled with hard work, laughter, teamwork, opening night jitters calmed by a prayer before the curtain rose, and pride in accomplishment for actors and stage crew alike when the last curtain came down.”

Kelly Markus is the chief visionary officer and owner of Hunters Point, a live event and experiential marketing company. Before Hunters Point, Kelly served as the vice president of experiential marketing at Refinery29. 

Kelly’s career in the arts began in high school where she participated in Magnificat’s choir and theater program, St. Edward and Saint Ignatius’s theater programs, and the Cleveland Theater Conference. During her senior year, she was awarded the Gold Medal for Best Actress at the Cleveland Theater Conference for her performance in The Boys Next Door. She moved on to New York University, where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in drama from the prestigious Tisch School of the Arts. After graduating, she began producing live events and films professionally, leading to her career as a producer.

Her notable credits include: Mighty Dream Forum for Pharrell Williams, a partnership for live events with LL Cool J's company Rock the Bells, executive producer for the Game of Thrones immersive U.S. tour, the Time100 Gala with Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj, and Entertainment Weekly's POPFEST featuring Nick Jonas, Janelle Monae, Jodie Foster, Jennifer Aniston, Eddie Redmayne, James Cordon, and many more.

    • Kelly Markus '90

    • Kelly Markus '90

    • Eryn Murman '04

    • Peggy Gibbons accepting on Eryn's behalf

      Eryn Murman '04

Eryn Murman excelled at Magnificat academically and in the performing arts. She lit up the stage in many musicals, choir performances, and band concerts. During her senior year Eryn won awards for her contributions in the performing arts. She won the Triple Threat award, Outstanding Choreographer and Outstanding Actress for No, No Nanette (she played Nanette), and Outstanding Director for the spring one act, Nobody Sleeps.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in musical theatre from Sheridan College, Eryn headed to New York where she amazingly, but not surprisingly was cast in the Tony Award-winning production of Spring Awakening on Broadway. She played Anna, and became a swing, essentially understudying and performing every female part in the show. When she performed Wendla in a San Jose production of Spring Awakening, Eryn was nominated for best actress in a leading role by the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle. She then went on to create the role of Gerda in a pop-rock musical version of The Snow Queen in New York City.
Eryn pursued her passion for creating music by forming a band with other Spring Awakening actors called 5JBarrow. The band won the Battle of the Boroughs and played at the iconic Apollo Theatre. Eryn married fellow bandmate, Jason Hite and toured throughout the US, finally settling in Asheville,North Carolina where they are raising their two children Matthias and Luna and continuing to perform throughout the state.

Zoe Murphy is a vivacious artist and educator who works with all types of visual arts media. Her work has been featured in art exhibits locally, including at the Westshore Arts Council and Fiori Gallery. 

Zoe studied art at Cuyahoga Community College and the Cleveland Institute of Art before earning a bachelor’s degree from Case Western Reserve University. She went on to earn a Master of Arts in teaching from Marygrove College in Detroit, Michigan. A teaching position at Magnificat was her first job out of college, and she continued to serve our students for four decades, acting as the Visual Arts Department chair and teaching Art Studio I and II, Photography, Drawing, Painting, and AP Art. In 2009, she received a Margot Stern Strom Teaching Excellence Award from Facing History and Ourselves.

In her nomination Deba Jean Gray, class of 1985, wrote, “I owe my success in the fine arts industry to Zoe. Her patient guidance as an art teacher altered my life’s trajectory. She introduced me to the art world and allowed me to discover my artistic talents.”

    • Zoe Murphy

    • Zoe Murphy

    • Marilyn “Lynn” Szalay '68

    • Lynn's sister

      Marilyn “Lynn” Szalay '68

Lynn Szalay (1950-2012) was a contemporary figurative realist painter and draftsperson. Best known for her oversized charcoal drawings of humans and animals, her aesthetic came from journalistic photography, and her work relied on strong draftsmanship and powerful compositions with great psychological depth.

She began her art career in the late 1970s as a photojournalist for the Sun Newspapers in Cleveland. She maintained a purity and integrity for the art form of traditional 35mm black and white photography, processing and printing her own film and enlargements in her home darkroom. Her photographic sensibilities influenced her large scale charcoal drawings. 

Her work has been exhibited at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Institute of Art, Butler Institute of American Art, Erie Art Museum, Case Western Reserve University, Canton Art Museum, SPACES, John Carroll University, Mount Union College, and the Cleveland Clinic. 

Lynn taught at Cuyahoga Community College Metro Campus for 10 years. She also volunteered at the Metroparks Zoo every week for 25 years, cleaning cages, painting signs, demonstrating birds of prey to visitors, and donating prints for sale to raise funds.

About the Fine Arts at Magnificat

Magnificat High School is built on a strong foundation of rigorous academic and co-curricular programs that promote leadership and innovation in the classroom and beyond. 

Magnificat Performing Arts provides exceptional, faith-filled, student-centered opportunities for those students interested in participating in performing arts such as dance, drama, music, voice, and technical theatre. We provide students access to the latest technology, the most innovative techniques, and experienced arts professionals from around the country. Our state-of-the-art Center for the Performing Arts houses a 1,000-seat theatre, dance studio, dressing rooms, green room, choral room, as well as a scene shop area for building props and set pieces.

Thanks to the generosity of Brittan Burke DiSanto '79 and Fred DiSanto, Phase I of the Center for the Visual Arts at Magnificat was completed in the summer of 2022. As we enhance our physical facilities, we will also be expanding our programming to allow more students to have the opportunity to add visual arts classes to their schedules. It is clear that the visual arts provide benefits to students in many ways, which is why Magnificat High School has chosen to prioritize this curriculum as part of our holistic educational offering.
Magnificat High School, a girls' Catholic college-preparatory high school, founded and sponsored by the Sisters of the Humility of Mary, educates young women holistically to learn, lead, and serve in the spirit of Mary’s Magnificat.