Young artist’s benefit from Kimball academy |

Young artist’s benefit from Kimball academy

Six years ago, the Kimball Art Center introduced the Young Artist’s Academy.

Since then, art students who have been accepted into the program, have not only created a variety of projects, but have also learned from established and professional artists who work with mediums such as ceramics, encaustic paints and metal.

They have also volunteered to run children’s activities at the Park Silly Sunday Market and have taught some of the KAC’s public art classes.

The Young Artist’s Academy’s 2012-13 season is scheduled to begin in May.

Applications will be available at the Kimball Art Center front desk or online at beginning Tuesday, March 13. Completed applications are due Sunday, May 6.

Art students, ages 13 though 18, from public, private, home or charter schools in Summit and Wasatch counties are eligible to apply, said Jenny Diersen, education director at the Kimball Art Center.

"The program is designed to give those students who are interested in arts more instruction than they would regularly get in school," Diersen told The Park Record. "On top of the additional training, they also get exposure to new mediums and get to meet artists."

The program is free and the only thing the Kimball asks in return is a year-around commitment from the students, because academy meets every Thursday night from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the Kimball Art Center.

"We meet in the summer and on holiday breaks, and there is plenty of work to be done outside of the class as well," said Diersen, who has been the academy’s main teacher for five years. "We do a variety of art projects and outreach events and take advantage of volunteer opportunities around town for other nonprofit organizations, which are great ways to support the market and the community and have fun."

The program also gives students a chance to visit college art programs.

"Last year we went to the University of Utah and looked at their art department and earlier this year, we went and toured Westminster College’s art department," Diersen said. "The kids were able to start understanding the settings in different establishments in order to prepare for the college application processes or just to be an artist.

"Most of the students who take part in the Young Artist’s Academy are extremely driven and hope that art will become their career once they graduate high school," she said.

While the current session is scheduled to end in mid May, the new students will begin classes right before school lets out, explained Diersen.

"It’s a good transition for our students who are graduating and the ones who are coming in for the first time," she said.

During the first class, Diersen talks with the students to get a feel of what they are interested in.

"We talk about what sort of things they did in school and what they need help with and what they want to do," she said. "That way, if they have big ideas, we can start putting things together and begin working on accomplishing those things."

Diersen also schedules the guest artists who visit the classes.

"We get between five and 10 artists who come to work with the students during the year," she said. "This week’s guest artist is encaustic painter Jeff Juhlin from Salt Lake City."

Encaustic painting utilizes pigments and beeswax, Diersen said.

"The students are going to be doing an encaustic workshop for the next two weeks to experience that medium," she said. "Jeff is a great artist and a great teacher, so it will be good for the students to learn from him."

One of the students who has participated in the Young Artist’s Academy include Park City High School senior Ali Mitchell, whose work, "After a Rainy Day," was one of 900 accepted into this year’s annual Utah All-State Art Show at the Springville Museum,

The museum also gave the work its Art Board Trustees Award.

"We were very excited for her. She is a wonderful student and she’s committed to the visual arts and works hard," Diersen said.

Other Young Artist’s Academy notables are Blake Peterson, who was honored with the 2011 Sterling Scholar in Visual Arts, is now pursuing a degree in art at Westminster College. Amelia Fitch, who graduated North Summit High School in 2010 and went to Pratt M.W.P. Institute in New York to study visual arts and Park City High School senior Emma Johnson is currently applying to colleges and hoping to pursue a degree in biochemistry.

"Not every Young Artist’s Academy student will pursue an art career, but they will take a lot with them when they pursue other degrees," Diersen said. "They will apply the same creative and problem-solving concepts in anything they do in their career path."

One such student was Cheyenne Lynsky, who graduated Park City High School in 2011. "She is now at Northwestern University in Chicago getting a degree in engineering," Diersen said.

The Young Artist’s Academy not only helps the students, but also is the highlight of Diersen’s week.

"I just think it’s fun and to hear what the kids say or see what they make is very inspirational for me," she said. "The most rewarding thing for teaching is getting to witness the creativity and the imagination of these students. The fact that I can give out one project to 15 students and end up with 15 completely different submissions is amazing. And to see them work through and solve problems that come up during a project and finally see a work displayed is exciting as well."

Applications for the Kimball Art Center’s Young Artist’s Academy will be available on Tuesday, March 13, at the KAC front desk or online at . for more information, visit

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