Contributors: March 2009

Marco Marella
A native of Venice, Italy, Marella trained briefly at the Venetian Academia di Belle Arti. He also studied at the Chelsea School of Art in London. Despite those academic stints, however, he calls himself a “self-taught artist,” and says his real-world experiences as a “ship-boy” on a cargo freighter and as an army officer influenced his work. Marella, whose art has been recognized by the Italian and British Associations of Illustrators, was recently published in American Illustration 27, an annual design contest. This month, his work accompanies an article on teaching foreign languages to children (page 34). In creating the illustration, he says, he hoped those who thumbed through the issue would want to stop on that page and read.

Nancy Nall Derringer
Derringer, who wrote the foreign-language education story on page 34, spent 2003-04 on a journalism fellowship at the University of Michigan. The fellowship group included several overseas journalists, along with their families. “I remember being at a party for one of the kids, and all but one of the young guests spoke at least two languages. One Turkish boy, who arrived with his parents, spoke English with a British accent. Four months later, he sounded like any American kid.” Children are sponges for language, and learn best and fastest when they’re taught early. So why aren’t more Michigan schools taking advantage of this happy fact? As for Derringer, she’s studying Russian with a private tutor. Early may be best for gaining a second language, but it’s also never too late.

Molly Abraham
“The most fascinating part of covering local restaurants, as I’ve done for a lot of years, is the sheer diversity of the scene. From tiny cafés with a handful of seats to major productions, there’s a vast variety, and many are worthy of note,” Abraham says. But Hour Detroit’s annual Restaurant of the Year (page 60) requires the highest standards. “It must be ambitious in menu, meticulous in setting, and must offer top-notch service. This year’s choice achieves all of those goals,” she says. “It was particularly satisfying from my perspective, because I’ve been lucky enough to observe the culinary career of its chef/proprietor ever since he was a fledgling protégé of Milos Cihelka at the former Golden Mushroom.”

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