By Laura Jackson
What do we really learn from art? The answers are as numerous as the artists who dare to dream and create. In Park City’s vibrant art community, overflowing with talent from across the globe, there are countless ways to experience the wealth of insight art has to offer.
“Perhaps my continued teaching has to do with the way I began my creative experience. My mother was an art teacher, so as a child, lessons about color and design were part of growing up,” said Moore. “Teaching and learning can become a bridge to what we learned in school and begin to produce as artists. In the group and private workshops that I offer, the teaching continues to move outward to others. I don’t believe that art or creativity is a secret. It should be shared and experienced in some way by all.”
“Part of the reason I feel this way is because I did not do art until I was 40,” explains McHugh. “I didn’t start painting or drawing or even imagining that I was an artist until 40.” Twenty-ﬁve years and a successful painting career later, she still appreciates how art changed her perspective. McHugh describes her approach to teaching art, “When I teach classes I’m not trying to teach the ‘right’ way, but rather to help someone discover their own way. I think most artists create good art because they know who they are.” Her art and her book, “Be Your Finest Art”, invite viewers to rediscover the joy of childhood abandon and reclaim their authenticity.
“Teaching forces me to verbalize the ‘intention’ of making art and helps to clarify the purpose of a speciﬁc piece,” believes Schlesinger. “Because the ‘why’ of creating is something I try to help students think about, that is always uppermost in my mind as well. If, through art, we can see things in a way we hadn’t seen them before, hopefully this can be transferred to the ability to be more open-minded in general… to not just see the obvious, but to delve a little deeper.”
Many teachers graciously admit how much they learn from their students. According to Dornan, “Giving demonstrations to developing artists provides me with a valuable form of feedback. Students internalize what I teach and turn it back out. Whether they mistake or cleverly disassemble the concept, they create visual echoes of what I have demonstrated.”
For Lund, art is so much more than the actual piece that’s produced.“Painting is really an emotional translation from the piece to the viewer of that experience. Art produces that ability to stop and see something that you might have never noticed before, and then connect on a very emotional level.” He believes it’s exactly the same with personal relationships. “When you stop and really take the time to look into someone’s eyes and just sit in silence, the information you receive is sometimes worth more than a month’s worth of vocalization.” You can ﬁnd him painting breathtaking landscapes in his new gallery at 591 Main Street most Tuesday through Saturday afternoons.
“A great way to start learning about art is to purchase a piece you love,” says Schumacher. “Once you have something in your home that you enjoy daily it is easy to get the art bug and want to learn more and acquire more pieces. It truly can be addicting — who doesn’t want to create a beautiful and stimulating environment?”
“I always encourage my artists, from emerging to established, to step outside of their comfort-zones and seek out new classes and media types to expand their body of work,” said Mullin. “For our collectors, local art museums and centers offer classes on the latest techniques, as well as lectures and ‘Art Talks’ on their exhibitions. Learning from an expert as you explore an exhibition can be one of the most rewarding ways to see a museum show… but remember to walk through again on your own, after the ‘Art Talk’. Your perspective will certainly be changed!”
Greeney believes in the power of art to cross all boundaries, “Creativity manifests itself in all kinds of ways, and doesn’t necessarily inspire art creation, but inﬂuences everything — from the way we think about problems to the way we dress and everything in between.“
Besides showcasing a variety of exhibitions ranging from prestigious national exhibitions to emerging local artists, Park City’s outstanding non-proﬁt center for the arts, the Kimball Art Center (KAC), continues its strong commitment to art education. KAC offers over 300 art classes and workshops each year in a wide range of media including painting with oils, acrylics and watercolors, drawing, photography, ceramics, welding, glass fusion, printmaking, encaustics, papermaking and more.
KAC works with talented local and visiting artists from around the country to provide exceptional art instruction for the community and visitors. Their class attendees start as young as 1½ and continue through adults, including family activities. (For a current full schedule please visit kimballartcenter.org.)
Its educational programs include Academic Resources for Teachers and Students (A.R.T.S.), Elementary Visual Arts (EVA) and the Young Artists’ Academy (YAA), all providing art education to students of various ages in Utah’s schools and youth organizations.
‘Art Talks’ at the Kimball Art Center serve as another important resource for education and discussion. Its monthly ‘Art Talks’ are free and open to the public. KAC’s largest event, the annual Park City Kimball Arts Festival, takes place the ﬁrst weekend in August and features over 200 artists from around the country.
Opportunities for art instruction abound just outside Park City as well. Salt Lake City has an active art community and range of
instruction options including the Petersen Art Center and the Visual Art Institute. At the base of Utah’s picturesque Mt. Timpanogos, just 45 minutes from Park City, the Art Studio at Sundance Mountain Resort is another incredible spot to soak in all the beauty and wisdom an art class has to offer.
In 2015, our nation celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the signing of the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965, which created the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. President Lyndon B. Johnson said at this historic signing, “Art is a nation’s most precious heritage. For it is in our works of art that we reveal to ourselves and to others the inner vision which guides us as a nation. And where there is no vision, the people perish.”