Kimball Art Center’s Young Artists’ Academy gives students opportunities |

Kimball Art Center’s Young Artists’ Academy gives students opportunities

Scott Iwasaki
In addition to creating individual art, the Kimball Art CenterÕs Young ArtistsÕ Academy students work on larger group works, such as this public installation at a bridge by City Park. (Danny Stephens)

The Kimball Art Center is committed to engaging people of all ages to the arts and one way of reaching young creative minds is through its Young Artists’ Academy.

"The YAA was founded to serve a specific age group of kids who were interested in the visual arts," said Amy MacDonald, artistic director of the Kimball Art Center. "These are the kids who want to dig deep into the study of a wide range of visual art mediums and creative professions."

The YAA session is free and runs for a full year, according to MacDonald.

"Fifteen artists, ages 13 to 18, will meet once a week for three hours," she said.

The next session will start in June and applications are available now by visiting . Submission deadline is Sunday, May 15, at 4 p.m. and the Kimball Art Center will send out acceptance notification emails by Wednesday, June 1.

"The students who are selected for YAA are chosen by merit from a full application, which means they must submit their own artwork, but also demonstrate that they can articulate their own ideas and write an essay," MacDonald explained. "This is to show they are well rounded. Even students who have been part of the YAA in the past must reapply. It’s not just assumed they will be in it the next year."

YAA students are selected by jury and the jury members aren’t part of the Kimball Art Center or the Board of Directors, MacDonald said.

"We reach out to artists, instructors and others who are knowledgeable about the arts from Park City and the Wasatch Front," she said. "We invite people who can evaluate the work in a fair and knowing manner."

In addition, the jurors do not know who the applicants are.

"We don’t give the jurors the students’ names," MacDonald explained. "We give them the artwork and the application that doesn’t have a name on it. That way, the students are selected objectively and solely on merit."

Once they become YAA members, students will get exposure to different mediums, techniques and artistic opportunities through individual and group works.

"Last year, the students were involved with a public-art project under a bridge by City Park and they did an installation at lululemon," MacDonald said. "We also just finished up doing what we call symbolic self-portrait masks, which are fabulous, and they are currently working on projects for the Wasatch Back Student Art Show that will open here at the Kimball Art Center and the library has also offered us space to exhibit YAA.

"Also, when a call-for-artist opportunity come up, I will send it around and give the students a chance to submit their work," she said. "This is all done with the goal of giving them a whole range of exposure to artwork that impacts a community, to self-development and exposure to different instructors, mediums and professions."

In addition, YAA students learn information that will prepare them for a career in art.

"We are also working with the Park City Library, where the students will have an opportunity to have their artwork professionally photographed so they can create digital art portfolios that they can build as they grow as artists," MacDonald said.

Even if the students don’t pursue art as a profession, the training will help them find careers in other creative fields.

"If they don’t make it as a painter or illustrator or sculptor, the training we provide will help them find a career that uses creative skills — graphic design, art direction and urban landscape planning," MacDonald said. "We keep telling kids what the world needs now are the creative thinkers who are innovative."

The talent found in YAA students continues to amaze MacDonald.

"This past year was the first time I was able to work with YAA and I realized they were beyond what I initially thought I was going to teach," she said. "It’s pretty competitive, but what I’ve seen is that the students who are accepted into YAA really want to be there.

"They can’t wait to create and are eager for information," she said. "I’ve been delighted and in awe at how talented these kids are, and that’s pretty exciting."

Applications for the Kimball Art Center’s Young Artists’ Academy are available by visiting . Submission deadline is Sunday, May 15. For more information, visit