SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- Kickapoo High School students interested in pursuing crafty careers networked with local artisans at Meet the Artist Tuesday afternoon.
"Our students deal with a lot of things. To have these kids have some positivity in their day, and smile at some color just makes my day," said Kickapoo French teacher by day, artist by night Carole Ogden. When the teacher isn't grading papers, she paints and makes prints-- a skill she developed by watching online video tutorials.
Meet the Artist was planned with the intention of inspiring a new generation of passionate artists.
"We do this to give back and to show the kids what we've done, and prove they can do it too," said Ogden. "If we can just plant these little seeds of thought and get them excited and motivated in pursuing something, that's what we're here for."
The instructor was asked to host the event during students' lunch hour, in coordination with Kickapoo University-- a program that allows students to delve into their passions by learning from professionals in the industries of their choice. "I did an internship through Kickapoo University where I got to go off campus every day and really see the daily lives of architects," said Kickapoo University senior Courtney Burlison.
The aspiring artist also believes events like this help reverse the stigma of art being an unrealistic career choice. "A lot of people think that art is just a hobby basically, but people need to realize you can make a living off of art," said Burlison.
Aisles of paintings, sketches, sculptures and video screens were full of students hoping to get a glimpse into their own artistic futures. Some students are new to the craft, others have been aspiring artists from a young age. "It's just been something that I've always wanted to progress and train in and I just really, really enjoy it," said Kickapoo University art senior Bailey Schuldt. "It's also a really great stress reliever and a way of just escaping the world."
Local artisans are already contacting Ogden with the request to get involved with upcoming sessions of Meet the Artist.