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home : activities : arts & entertainment

10/16/2013 1:06:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
Icicle Arts begins Art Academy for new and experienced artists

Ian Dunn

Icicle Arts in Leavenworth is offering a new Art Academy for beginning to experienced artists. The main focus is on school aged children, but anyone is welcome to attend the classes, said Icicle Art Managing Director Alicia McKee.

In the past, Icicle Arts operated ASAP, the After School Art Program.

"Several years ago, it was actually in school, in one of the classrooms," McKee said. "This spring, we did it here (at Barn Beach) in the sun room and tried it in the barn. It was a small age range, just Osborn kids. We heard some feedback the younger and older kids and adults wanted to try these arts classes."

The concept behind the new Art Academy is to have smaller classes with three different levels, beginner, intermediate and experienced. Adults are welcome, she said.

"My vision for is that, in the future, experienced little kids, along with adults, that are all learning art and creating together," she said. "There's some 70 year old women who say, 'I've never done art before. I don't belong in the intermediate. Can I go in the beginning, even though it is just 8 year olds?' I like the idea of them creating stuff together. By the same token, there are 8 year olds that are little savants. They should be in the classroom."

McKee said they are looking for people that want art, not just looking for a daycare. The classes are for age 8 and up, but if there is a really focused 6 year old, they would make an exception.

"We'll for sure consider that. It's more a matter of the kid really wanting to be there for the sake of the art and not daycare," she said.

Each month is a different focused topic with a different professional teacher, she said. The first month of the Art Academy is devoted to recycled arts, mainly because it ties-in with the gallery show.

Local artist Becki Heyl is the instructor. Heyl has taught many of the kids over the years in the late start art program, she said.

"We were originally planning on doing a sunflower project, but turns out most of the class is boys. They didn't want to do sunflowers, they wanted to do robots," McKee said. "They saw lots of cans. They are now making robots."

Recycled arts is a unique medium because it is so new, she said. It's a matter of what you have and how you can make it useful. Heyl happened to come across some large cans of baby formula. She created a project based on those materials.

Recycled Art classes run through the month of October, on Tuesdays. The new artist classes isfrom 4 to 4:45 p.m. The intermediate artist class is from 5 to 6 p.m. The experienced artist class is from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

McKee said the experienced artist class will be less instruction, using an advanced vocabulary with art elements, assuming you know the basics.

"It is an experiment. We haven't had any signups for the advanced," McKee said. "It is new and also competing with soccer season, we're finding out. I don't know what will happen. Maybe people with a passion for art don't necessarily need the instruction but have a place.

"The supplies are out and the space is warm and there's somebody there to bounce ideas off. There's a synergy for a room full of people creating. People will pay for that."

Nov. 5 to 26 is Cartooning with Dan McConnell. Jan. 7 to 28 is Mixed Media with Castilla Cava. Feb. 4 to 25 is Confidence in Art with Martha Flores. March 4 to 25 is How to Draw Horses with Patti Erickson. April 8 to 29 is Digital Photography with Chris and Heidi Ohta. May 6 to 27 is Bird Drawing and Sculptures with Cordi Bradburn.

Cost for four weeks of classes is $52 for members and $65 for non members. Individual class are $15 for members and $18 for non members. There's also scholarships available.

"This is a new avenue we are trying. The scholarships are available only by recommendation of a teacher. Or, if it is an adult, they have to be recommended by somebody else," McKee said. "It's not a hardship financial type scholarship. It is for that kid that maybe has low self esteem that hides in the corner. But you give him pen and paper and see him or her liven up. They really express themselves well creatively, visually."

There is not much dedicated art time in the Cascade School District, she said. McKee said teachers know who these children are, so if they recommend them for a scholarship, the art classes are free. There are a limited number of scholarships.

Icicle Arts is also on the lookout for local businesses that would like to sponsor the scholarships. Right now, there is space in all the classes, so signups are encouraged.

To enroll, call 548-2278, logon to, or just stop by the classes on Tuesdays at Barn Beach Reserve.

Ian Dunn can be reached at 548-5286 or

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