Kirkland Arts Center Programs
KAC’s audiences come from all over the Puget Sound region to see adventurous emerging artists’ work in the gallery and to learn to draw, paint, and make pottery and prints from the region’s best art instructors.
The studio education program offers over 70 studio art courses every quarter across diverse artistic media, including: ceramics, painting, drawing, printmaking, mixed media, and more. There are art-making workshops for children as young as two years, and after-school and summer programs for K-12 students provide new challenges and creative learning opportunities for youth and teens across all skill levels. Adult classes serve the needs of beginning art students as well as advanced artists looking for guidance in their independent study. Both youth and adult classes are taught by professional teaching artists whose own artistic works are shown locally, nationally, and internationally.
KAC’s free-admission gallery presents eight contemporary art exhibitions every year. Exhibitions vary by theme and artistic mediums represented, but aim to address socially relevant issues, explore new trends in contemporary art, and offer interactive experiences for audiences.
In an effort to break down barriers to arts access, KAC provides scholarships to underserved populations. KAC offers scholarships to its classes, workshops, and summer camps to financially disadvantaged youth and teens and mentally disabled adults. KAC also reaches out to the public schools, bringing teaching artists into high schools to present demonstrations and lectures.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Celebrating its 120th birthday in 2012, the historic Peter Kirk Building is a unique and welcoming place to make and view art, but also requires special attention. In recent years, KAC has focused on restoring and rehabilitating the building and has had major successes with the completion of an architectural and structural review to identify preservation and maintenance priorities. KAC’s most recent success was the restoration of three historic doors along the building’s Market Street façade and restoration of the building’s grand central entrance, staircase, and mezzanine. This project reopened the grand central entrance to public use after nearly 15 years of inaccessibility. While there are still numerous building needs, the success towards this project in recent years has been momentous for Kirkland Arts Center.
While preservation efforts have been successful, KAC needs support to continue facility renovations and purchase necessary art studio equipment to keep up with the demands of our growing student base. Supplies for our popular ceramics, printmaking, and painting classes, including clay, glazes, easels, print making inks and tools, need to be purchased regularly. Our historic building needs ongoing maintenance and studio space updates to ensure effective use for over 300 art classes per year. As we continue to grow, our shared education and office spaces need marked improvements for functionality and efficiency. We look forward to sustaining and growing Kirkland Arts Center for all to enjoy.