Despite the challenges of the present time, Marco Island Center for the Arts was able to run its Young Artist Academy, which offers art experiences for middle and high school students, who have both talent and hold an interest in art. To be eligible for the program, a student had to be in grade 6 through grade 12. Qualified Home-Schooled children were also eligible. There is no fee for this program and materials are provided free to the students.
This year classes took place on Saturday afternoons from September 28 to November 14, 2020, and were offered in two mediums: drawing and sculpture. Each student had four weeks each of the two mediums. At the end of the eight weeks, each student entered one piece of artwork into a special art exhibition. The work was judged by artists Emily James and Mary Kane, as well as Karen Blackwell, Wes Blackwell and Gary Landis from the Island Country Club Charitable Foundation which generously provided funding for the program. The results of the judging are as follows:
- 1st Place – Aliyah Serbu
- 2nd Place – Zoie Swift
- 3rd Place – Autumn Skubin
- Honorable Mentions – Laura Marie Alvarado and Charlotte Ward
The classes were taught by the husband-and-wife team of Lauren Amalia Redding and Brett F. Harvey who relocated to Southwest Florida in 2018 after nearly 10 years living in New York City. They opened H&R Studio, a private studio in Naples, Florida, out of which both teach and work. Lauren and Brett were recently included in the 2020 Artis—Naples Studio Tour.
Lauren received her B.A. from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and her M.F.A. from the New York Academy of Art in New York, New York. She exhibits and curates across the United States, and her drawings have been included in Fine Art Connoisseur, Fine Art Today, and American Art Collector magazines. Lauren is the managing editor of The Blue Review, based in New York City, and a contributing writer for PaintGuide, based in Hong Kong. Lauren has also written for other publications, such as PoetsArtists, The Pen + Brush, Artists on Art, and Art Aesthetics. Lauren’s work is currently on view in the Edward Hopper House Museum’s online exhibition, Thirty Seven.
Brett received his Bachelor’s degree in painting from the New Hampshire Institute of Art and his Master’s degree in sculpture from the New York Academy of Art. Upon graduation from the New York Academy of Art, he was awarded the Excellence in Anatomy Award. He has exhibited nationally, and in 2018 alone, his work graced the cover of Sculpture Review and was featured in The Blue Review, American Art Collector, and Minus 37. Brett worked for 7 years as the lead installer for Jeff Koons while maintaining his own rigorous studio practice. He is the Sculpture Director for Miami International Fine Arts, and is represented by Method & Concept in Naples, Florida.