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Community institutions nurture the young artist and give a nod to the businessperson within

click to enlarge Anandi Blacks contribution to Wunderkind just - happened to fit the weeks green theme.
  • Anandi Blacks contribution to Wunderkind just happened to fit the weeks green theme.

Personal statements. Letters of recommendation. Tense students who've put their best work in front of unseen judges. 'Tis the high-school season ... for the annual Wunderkind program.

The Business of Art Center and the Kennedy Center Imagination Celebration have joined forces once again to support teens in their creative artistic expression. Each fall, they collectively send out a call for artists to Pikes Peak area high schools. Out of approximately 50 young artists this year, 14 were selected through a process that included a review of portfolios and statements from the students, as well as from the teachers who know them best.

The eighth Wunderkind exhibition will display their works. But the exhibition itself, and the reception that follows, will also show off what the teens have learned in seven weeks of workshops about pricing and presenting work, planning opening receptions and art promotion.

"It is an opportunity to learn the hands-on business of art," Holly Parker, gallery director at the BAC, explains. "Wunderkind gives participants practical gallery skills. The students learn about art from behind the scenes ... how to deal with galleries as an artist."

Parker, who also sat in on the jury selection, says the artwork this year is "impressive and diverse in subject matter" and was chosen based upon the "quality of execution and idea of work." The exhibition includes traditional mediums of visual artwork as well as digital photography, ceramics, fabric constructions and multi-media.

Many of the students plan on pursuing art as a career. Some already have gone through that other nerve-wracking high-school process and been accepted into art colleges. Wunderkind provides an opportunity to meet these young artists and see their work before they hopefully move on to fame and fortune.

Kerry A. Bennett

Wunderkind 2007: Annual Juried Exhibition of Exceptional High School Students

The Business of Art Center, 513 and 515 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs

Open Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; runs through April 14.

Free; call 685-1861 for more.

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