Young Artist’s Academy Launched at Kimball Art Center. | ParkRecord.com
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Young Artist’s Academy Launched at Kimball Art Center.

Frank Fisher, Of the Record staff

The 14 students participating in the Young Artist’s Academy are of different ages, work in different artistic mediums and come from different backgrounds in Summit and Wasatch Counties. Their common tie is their love of art.

The students, ranging from 13 to18-years old, were chosen from 40 applicants to take part in the once-per-week ongoing workshop, taught by Kimball Art Center Education Director Annie Kennedy. The students studied graphic design, painting, industrial design and sculpture and they meet every Thursday evening for two hours of artistic exploration.

Kennedy speaks deliberately and with passion as she relates to where the academy students are in their studies.

"The students expect a lot of each other," Kennedy said. "And we expect a lot from them."

The students are required to devote at least six hours per month to the free academy. Kennedy hopes to help them assemble portfolios and prepare them for the application process to art schools.

The workshop, according to Kennedy, is not only about the students developing artistic skills, but developing new insights into life.

"Art is philosophical, in that it makes you think about life," she said. "It is not practical in the way that money is. It is not about nuts and bolts but you begin to see what life is all about."

Malone Dunlavy, a Park City High School student, touts his love of sculpture. "I’m into 3-D," he said. Clay opens up so many more doors. You can reproduce anything you see or anything you can imagine."

On Thursday, students all drew still-life arrangements set up in the room. Kennedy had all students then shift one to the right, so they are standing in front of the drawing of their neighbor. It was then their job to correct what for them did not work in the drawing. They continued to shift to the right until every student had worked on every still life. Kennedy wanted students to gain a sense of being equals working together, offering their visual input so they could become teachers and learners at the same time.

"This class is better than I thought it would be," said Treasure Mountain International Middle School 8th-grade student Spencer Shores. "This is the first art class I’ve been in where people are actually interested and pay attention. Everybody has different areas they work in, but they are at a higher level."

Kennedy said that elementary schools no longer require art in the curriculum, and she wants to do her part to keep art alive and well in the town of the Sundance Film Festival.

The academy runs through May. At that time, Kennedy said new applicants will be accepted as some current students leave. She hopes to see some overlap of old and new students. Kennedy wants this to be a continuous academy, and will write grants and solicit community support to keep it going. She and the non-profit Kimball Art Center are committed to the need to provide an artistic venue for students in the community.

"If you forget art, you forget what life is all about," Kennedy said.


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