Community Visual Art Association (Jackson Hole, WY)

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Chair with metal frame and apended rectangles

One of the pieces of furniture created by participates of Young Artists Revolutionary Designs Art, a program by Jackson Hole’s Community Visual Art Association to provide local high school students the opportunity to design, build, and sell their own works of art. Photo courtesy of the Community Visual Art Association

The Community Visual Art Association (CVAA) of Jackson Hole, Wyoming is a multidisciplinary organization that holds classes for all ages in a variety of media, operates a gallery with ongoing exhibitions, and has a broad outreach program to schools, hospitals, and senior centers. In 2001, it began Young Artists Revolutionary Designs (Y.A.R.D.) Art, a program to provide local high school students the opportunity to design, build, and sell their own works of art in unusual media, such as metal sculpture. The program provides a creative outlet for troubled youth in the region and gives students in arts classes new media in which to express themselves.

In FY 2003, an NEA Arts Learning grant of $8,000 helped expand Y.A.R.D. Art to include a larger number of students, provide supplies, and support artists residencies. Seventeen students were taught the basics of designing in metal by CVAA staff members; then they created miniature models of their designs. The seven models that they selected for fabrication were sent to the Simms Metal Studio, where the students were taught to use welding torches, plasma cutters, and grinders and produced 10 to 15 copies of each design. Objects made by the students included benches, chairs, clocks, magazine holders, picture frames, and bicycle racks. In the past year, the students have also been commissioned to create several large-scale outdoor sculptures.

Following production of the furniture the participants were responsible for tracking the income of the project, designing a catalogue of their merchandise, and determining a price for the pieces. They created a comprehensive marketing plan that helped them to sell their creations at the local fine arts fair, fetching prices ranging from $25 to $1,500.

(From the 2003 NEA Annual Report)