Kaleigh Kuehl
BAC Faculty, Summer ArtVentures

How did you get involved with the Brookline Arts Center?
I got involved with Brookline Arts Center’s ArtVentures just before the unexpected shift to online classes, and I am so fortunate and excited to be continuing with ArtVentures this summer IN PERSON! I finished my degree and was searching for opportunities to continue encouraging children to feel inspired in the arts, and the BAC has provided a wonderful platform to do so.

Tell us about your background. How did you become interested in art?
I grew up the youngest of five children, and my oldest sister was an art teacher who often test-drove projects at home with all of us. Art was always encouraged in my household, and I found my passion leading me toward child education and technical theatre. I thrived in art classes throughout my childhood and still use that creative support from the adults in my life in my own art, so I hope to find as many opportunities to pass on what my sister did for me!

What passions do you bring to the BAC community?
I am super passionate about the creative process and developing new places from which to find inspiration. I got into technical theatre as a scenic painter, continued into leadership positions, then found myself gravitating back to the hands-on design and fabrication side of theatre. I love problem solving, so the design-to-execution process fascinates me, combining creative thinking with logistical testing. I especially flourish when I can have my hands on a project in 3D, specifically sculpture and carpentry. Expressing ideas in a visual format that must be communicated to large teams makes for an environment in which creative walls must be broken. Theatre taught me to apply an artistic lens to everything I look at and how I could use it to tell a story. In the classroom, we practice spontaneity and finding inspiration and beauty in the world around us. We break down our creative walls in a collaborative studio setting that encourages feedback and support of our peers.

What do you enjoy most about the BAC?
The BAC fosters such a sense of community that immediately made me feel welcome. I can always tell that those returning to take classes are doing so with love and excitement from previous experience. The flexibility of the digital format allowed me to see students brainstorm with new materials and break any boundaries put on them. Seeing the excitement on students’ faces when a new project is introduced or when they create something they are proud of is so inspiring to me as a teacher.

What was your favorite childhood art project?
I LOVED working with clay as a child. One of the projects we did as a practice-run for my sister’s art classes was a bird rattle that we got to sculpt and paint. Seeing how uniquely different we chose shapes and colors based on the same prompt was so exciting to watch. Overall, I also loved drawing with graphite. I spent hours a week in my room copying pictures and characters into sketchbooks that I still cherish today.

Who are some of your art heroes?
Designers like Bunny Christie changed the way I see media in the ways she breaks typical standards across industries. She combines traditional and digital art, theatre and film in ways that reaffirmed for me that there are no restrictions to art and design. In my personal experience, the teachers I have had throughout my lifetime genuinely have been heroes to me in and outside of their art. My school day was always highlighted by art classes, and I was super fortunate to have a support system that championed me to express myself and continue my studies in the arts. I have always believed that the art we inspire is equally as important as the art we create, so I put everything I can into promoting pride in students’ work and encouraging them to pass on their passions to those around them.

Do you have anything exciting coming up?
I am super excited to be teaching in-person ArtVentures this summer! Being back in a classroom and studio setting is always so inspiring. Students get to see each other’s work and feel the energy of a supportive and collaborative environment. I just finished my double degree, and what better way to jump into this summer? I can’t wait to see all the smiling faces in person that I have come to know in my time at the BAC!

Return to Community Spotlight