Young artists get creative in Kimball Art Center academy | ParkRecord.com

Young artists get creative in Kimball Art Center academy

Artist Jimmy Toro gives a critique during one of the Kimball Art Center’s Young Artists' Academy classes. The Young Artists' Academy is one of the nonprofit’s flagship programs for students serious about art.

Park City resident Sadie AbuHaidar, a ninth-grader at Rowland Hall Upper School in Salt Lake City, is an artist whose go-to mediums are pens and pencils.

Thanks to her time as a student of the Kimball Art Center's Young Artists' Academy this past year, AbuHadair has learned about other mediums, such as the beeswax and pigment style of painting called encaustic.

"Before I was accepted into YAA, I didn't know what encaustic painting was," AbuHaidar said. "I also didn't use much color in my pen and pencil drawings, and YAA has helped me experiment and use color, so my drawings are more beautiful."

The Young Artists' Academy is the Kimball Art Center's flagship program, said Executive Director Jory Macomber.

All the YAA students are well versed in different mediums, and they have their own way of thinking about art...”Sadie AbuHaidar,Young Artist Academy student

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"It's the place for teens who are interested in improving and continuing their artistic abilities," he said. "The students meet and work with artists in different mediums from month to month. That way they get exposed to many types of art."

The Young Artists' Academy will host a free open house from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 8, at the Kimball Art Center, 1401 Kearns Blvd.

During that time, parents and students will learn about the program's application process, hear from Heather Stamenov, the YAA director, and meet current YAA students.

The event will also include a hands-on silkscreening demonstration, and potential students should bring a T-shirt, tote bag or towel that can be silkscreened, Macomber said.

The open house comes days before the May 20 application deadline for the 2018-19 session.

"YAA accepts 12 to 15 students, ages 13 to 18, each year," Macomber said. "The program runs during the school year, from August to May and meets Tuesday nights from 6-9, and when their schools have breaks, YAA takes breaks."

While Stamenov directs the program, she also invites professional artists to give presentations and work with the students.

"The students work on projects each month, but sometimes a project will take more than a month to finish," Macomber said.

AbuHaidar has enjoyed the different projects she has done this year.

"We did a mural at the beginning of the year, and then we did a three-week encaustic piece," she said. "We also learned how to make our own sketchbooks, meaning we learned how to hand stitch the binding and such."

When AbuHaidar applied last year, she didn't expect to do multi-week projects.

"I thought we'd do a project a week, but I have found that I really like doing them because you take time to really learn the medium," she said.

YAA also helped AbuHaidar with her pen and pencil works, because she relies on her classmates to critique her pieces.

"All the YAA students are well versed in different mediums, and they have their own way of thinking about art," she said. "So if I create a piece, you can ask for their opinions and they can give their perspective, which helps me sort out what to improve on, and that has made my art better."

Macomber enjoys seeing how well the YAA students work together.

"Art is often considered a solitary activity, but it really isn't," he said. "You have to know how to critique, coach and learn from each other. And those things are very important skills.

"I remember visiting the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and seeing letters he had written to other artists," Macomber said. "He wanted to invite them to a house to paint together, because he didn't want to work by himself."

Applications can be found by visiting http://www.kimballartcenter.org.

"Students fill out the applications and submit some pieces of art for a juried process," Macomber said. "Then we also do interviews."

This is AbuHaidar's first year in YAA.

"I've always been interested in art, and two years ago I looked into applying for YAA but didn't have time because I was ski racing and playing lacrosse," she said. "This year, I'm only doing lacrosse, and since I had more time, I applied. And I'm excited to apply next year."

The Young Artists’ Academy will host a free open house from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 8, at the Kimball Art Center, 1401 Kearns Blvd. For information, visit http://www.kimballartcenter.org.