Art Comes to Life for Young Artists at Fontbonne Workshop

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Instructor Albert Kuo works with student Madison Weicht at the Young Artists Workshop.

This summer, eight area teenagers immersed themselves in an intense, four-week college-level drawing and painting experience at Fontbonne University.

The Young Artist Workshop is offered twice a year to highly motivated high school juniors and seniors and is based on teacher recommendations. There is no charge to the student.

Participants in the workshop explored foundations of drawing, painting and composition with selected university-level instructors who are active local artists.

Albert Kuo, a Fontbonne alumnus, has helped run the workshop since he earned his Master of Fine Arts from Fontbonne in 2013.

“This workshop is something special,” Kuo said. “The students in the program really get to build up their portfolios and get a sense of where they want to go with their art. They may not go on to become artists by profession, but they are enthusiastic for the arts and enjoy art-making.”

One of the highlights of the summer workshop is the gallery show at the end of the program, which ran from June 30 – July 14.

“This is the first opportunity for many of these students to showcase their work,” Kuo said. “They work very hard on their pieces, and it’s a big deal to them to be able to invite their friends and family.”

Artist Gwyneth Griffin has attended the workshop twice.

The gallery show is a major motivator to the students. Hazelwood West High School senior Gwyneth Griffin returned to the workshop this summer after previously attending the spring workshop.

“I learned a lot trying new things,” Griffin said. “I really liked coming back for the summer session because I was able to build upon the techniques I learned during the spring workshop.”

In addition to the artistic techniques learned at the workshop, Griffin says that the experience of a gallery show and a glimpse of college-level classes are invaluable. “This is a great opportunity,” she said. “It’s allowing me to get a feel for what college will be like, and I’m excited for the chance to be featured in a gallery show. I really appreciate this experience.”

Learn more about the Young Artist Workshop and studying fine arts at Fontbonne.