Wasatch Back Student Art Show looks into the future
May 3, 2016
The Kimball Art Center wants to invite the community to the future.
This Friday, the nonprofit will open the annual Wasatch Back Student Art Show, which will feature an array of art that reflects the theme "In the Year 3000."
The 330 pieces of art were created by between 450 to 500 students, some of whom may be future artists, in grades kindergarten through 12th from all the schools in Summit and Wasatch counties, according to the Kimball Art Center’s Artistic Director Amy MacDonald.
"This is a complete celebration of Summit and Wasatch counties’ youths and the talent in the schools," MacDonald said during an interview with The Park Record. "This is a great chance for students to have their work exhibited in a professional gallery."
Working with this year’s theme was fun because MacDonald and her staff were able to see just how creative the students could get.
"There was no right or wrong way to do the art, because it is all personal interpretations," she said. "We enjoyed seeing how these kids chose to address that theme."
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The works are of all different mediums.
"One person [Anna Kanarowski] even hand-sewed a futuristic outfit we are displaying on a model," MacDonald said. "We have some interesting sculptures and incredible paintings and abstract images."
The subject matter was also diverse.
"Some of the artists created contemplations of body and figures and landscapes," MacDonald said. "Some of the schools did class collaborations. All the work is done from different approaches."
To create a comprehensive exhibit, the works will be shown in subtheme displays, according to MacDonald.
"Each area of the gallery has been curated to reflect those [ideas] that have come out from the overall theme," she said. "So, as you walk through you will see those ideas grouped together."
MacDonald was impressed at the various futuristic viewpoints each work addressed.
"There is a mixture from optimistic art to dark and pessimistic art," she said. "Some of the art is light and bright, and others are less natural and feature more machine-like, technical images."
In addition to the school students, the 15 members of the Kimball Art Center’s Young Artist Academy (YAA) also submitted works for the show.
"Last year the YAA did a collaborative work," MacDonald said. "This year, they all did individual pieces."
The YAA is also working with Kimball Art Center Exhibitions Director Nancy Stoaks to hang and curate the show.
"The YAA students, in turn, learn about curating and exhibiting themed art," MacDonald said. "I think it’s important that these kids get these types of experiences."
This year’s theme was decided on last year.
"Every year, during the Student Art Show, the Kimball Art Center staff suggests possible themes for the next year," MacDonald explained. "We all vote and the top two or three ideas that get the most staff votes are then put out for the public to vote on.
"Last year, the ballots were done as a gridded drawing and people voted by filling in one of the squares," she said. "We’ll do the same method this year so people can vote when they come see the exhibit."
Not only does the Wasatch Back Student Art Show celebrate young and local talent, it also gets to the heart of the Kimball Art Center’s mission, which is to engage individuals of all ages in diverse and inspiring experiences through education, exhibitions and events, according to MacDonald.
"It’s very important for the Kimball Art Center to be of, by and for our community and relevant to the people who live here," she said.
It’s also a way to celebrate the KAC’s outreach programs.
"We have our arts tours, EVA (Elementary Visual Arts) and various after-school programs," MacDonald said. "This is a way we can celebrate a year’s worth of working with the student bodies, and it gives us a chance to bring them to the forefront and honor the talent and work that is out there."
The exhibit also encourages kids to continue in their artistic endeavors.
"We’re seeing an increase in quality and effort and that is something we see improve every year," MacDonald said. "To have more than 450 students involved this year is a great statement. Because it shows the community how important the exhibit is not only for our students, but also for the community to get involved with. It’s important for people to say that the Kimball Art Center is their art center."
The Kimball Art Center, 1401 Kearns Blvd., will present the annual Wasatch Back Student Art Show from Friday, May 6, through Sunday, June 5. For more information, visit http://www.kimballartcenter.org.