"Being an artist really allows for a meaningful life."
Artist Emily Kiacz on children's artwork and viewing a Georgia O'Keefe's painting as child.
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Great artists make artists. And to prove that point, over 70 of today's greatest have contributed their work in support of Children's Museum of the Arts' Emergency Arts Education Fund, establishing utterly ambitious art programs in New York City schools that need them most.
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Below, meet auction artist Emily Kiacz.
Do you have a favorite memory of making art as a child?
I made art so frequently as a kid, I have many fond memories. I especially liked to paint rocks.
What advice would you give to young artists who wish to pursue an art practice?
I would absolutely encourage any young artist to pursue their dreams. Being an artist really allows for a meaningful life. I have carved a path for myself that I couldn’t have imagined possible as a child, and I would wish that for anyone.
How does working with children inspire you?
Children have a freedom and abundance of imagination that is truly inspiring. Their approach to every aspect of making art is so zany. I love looking at work made by kids, as well as making art with the young people in my life. It serves as a good reminder of why I love to make things, and the type of energy to strive for in my practice.
When did you first know you were going to be an artist?
I think I have always known that I wanted to be an artist, but I made a definitive decision to do so when I was fifteen and made my first painting. I knew that I wanted to pursue this thing in a real way. The color and fluidity of paint really clicked as a mode of expression.
Can you describe a formative experience visiting a museum or gallery?
I remember my first time at the Chicago Art Institute, I encountered Georgia O’Keefe’s Sky Above Clouds. The image, scale and content left me shook. The experience expanded my idea of what I could do as an artist, and it continues to inspire me to this day.
acrylic on canvas over panel