"Anything we do in life has some kind of an art or art form to it. Even getting up in the morning is an art."
Wise words from Pat Posey, executive director of the Eccles Community Art Center -- words that are aptly applied to Carey Francis' art of art education in her new Teen Studio Space project.
Carey Francis started the Teen Studio Space at Eccles Community Art Center in June after opening an unsuccessful studio with some fellow graduates.
"I went crying to one of my professors and said I wanted to keep the studio, and I wanted to help kids."
Her professor, Jim Jacobs, at Weber State University, suggested she seek funding and support from the city. Carey did so and eventually found a home for her studio at the Eccles Community Art Center. She has high praise for Pat Posey.
"Mr. Pat, I love him to death. He had faith in me, and he said OK, he was going to give me a chance."
Posey is happy to have given Francis' project a home.
"It seems that we have so many people who don't really know about the arts. It's not just painting and that kind of thing; it's all kinds of arts. And I felt it was an opportunity for the center to get involved with young adults and get a new program started like this with Carey, who volunteers her time."
As her project grew, Francis wrangled some assistants from Weber State. One of her assistants, Mark Zigweid, works with Francis in the Mary Elizabeth Dee Shaw Gallery at the university and said he is excited about the popularity of the Teen Studio Space.
"It's caught on by word of mouth, and every time I come there may be six people or 12 people or more. It's pretty exciting to see people actually interested in it."
Sherry Morgan met Francis after returning to Weber State to study art as part of the senior citizen program at the university.
"I've known Carey for a long time. She was thinking about doing it, and she asked me to help. I love art, and I love kids. When I was doing art in the beginning, I decided that I wasn't that great; I'd starve to death as an artist. So I quit doing that, and I went into social work. But later on, after I retired, I went back on the senior citizens program. I'm doing, finally, what I really love. What I wanted to do in the first place."
Francis said she has received a few donations of art supplies, which has been a huge help.
"Home Depot donated pencils. Salvation Army donated headboards that [the students are] going to paint on."
Francis said the most valuable donation her project has received is the studio space itself.
"On Saturday they only have an hour, so they'll get involved and work right until their hour is up. And I was like,'Oh, I wish I had more space.' But I'm grateful for what we have."
Her teens are grateful, too. When asked what she'd be doing if she weren't at the Teen Studio, Brooke Whiteaker, 13, said, "I would be watching TV and playing Wii. I'd rather be here."
Amber Stott, 14, is also appreciative.
"I just really love being able to paint, and it's stress-relieving as well. I think it's a great opportunity, especially for my profile for college."
There is no fee for attending the studio, but participants are expected to buy their own art supplies. The studio is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. More information can be found on the Facebook page for Teen Studio Space.