Geneva Lakes Family YMCA

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YMCA to Showcase the Work of Young Artists During Art Week, Oct. 5-9

Published 10.01.15

During the week of Oct. 5, in recognition of National Arts and Humanities Month, the Geneva Lakes Family YMCA will host an Art Week to showcase and celebrate the work and unique talents of the budding young artists who participate in YMCA art classes. Artwork will be displayed in the YMCA lobby.

As part of YMCA Art Week, the YMCA is also offering an art contest for kids up to age 16. The winning entry will be featured on the cover of the 2016 Winter/Spring YMCA Program Guide. Click here for an entry form and art template. All submissions are due Oct. 9.

The YMCA began offering after school youth art classes earlier this year, and has expanded its offerings to include classes for home school students.

All classes are taught by local professional artist Kirsten Gamble. We recently had an opportunity to chat with her about her art background and the classes she teaches. Read our Q&A with Kirsten below, and watch this video to see a YMCA art class in action.


Q & A with Kirsten Gamble - Professional Artist & YMCA Art Instructor


Q:  Tell us about yourself and your art background.  

A:   My interest in art began in 2nd grade. From then on, I took every opportunity I could to be involved in art. I have a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin — Stevens  Point, emphasizing in two dimensional art.  I spent a summer working in an art gallery in London, England.  I then went on to study jewelry design and fabrication, which led to a brief stint working in the jewelry industry in gemology and sales. I married a fellow artist, and we have a beautiful baby girl.  I’m currently a member of the Geneva Lake Arts Foundation. I work mainly in pen/pencil drawing and acrylic painting.  


Q:  Can you share some images of your art with us?

A:  Here are some Zentangle drawings and paintings (done in acrylic paint).

Q:  Who is your favorite artist?  

A:   I love Bob Ross!  I grew up watching him on PBS. He had such a positive and uplifting attitude towards his art and life. He learned from his mistakes and taught others to accept theirs.


Q:  Tell us about your classes at the Y. 

A:   Kids learn a variety of art forms from drawing techniques, like Zentangle, to collage, water color, and even sculpture. I try to show them that art can be made from anything. We use a lot of recycled materials and even some from nature. Our youngest artists recently made paper bag puppets. Another project we’ve done is leaf rubbings.


Q:  What do you like best about teaching art at the Y?

A:  I love being a part of the Y’s commitment to youth development and helping kids recognize their potential and enhance their skills.  The Y offers an environment where kids feel comfortable expressing themselves creatively, and I enjoy seeing the kids’ faces light up when they discover their own unique artistic talents in my classes.


Q:  What inspired you to become an artist, and what advice would you give to budding artists looking to follow in your footsteps? 

A: My family has always been very supportive of me being an artist.  Having all of those people believe in me really inspired me to follow my passion.  My advice to budding artists would be to try a little bit of everything. You never know what medium you will love or be great at unless you try new things!


Q:  Why is art important for children?

A:  Art gives children a creative outlet they might not get elsewhere.  I've seen the most excited kids channel their energy into producing multiple pieces of art in one class.  By trying different styles and techniques, each child is given an opportunity to find something they enjoy, are good at, and most importantly, feel good about.


To learn more about YMCA youth art classes in Lake Geneva, view our program guide here.  Fall II classes start Oct. 26. Register now at the Y, online, or call 262-248-6211 to reserve your child’s spot.

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