Kemp Center for the Arts offers lively art classes for all ages

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The Wichita Falls Arts Council offers art classes of all genres, but it’s the art of anime that program coordinator Kristine Thueson says takes it all the world by storm.

“I remember twenty years ago anime was this weird Japanese thing that people who were interested in Japanese culture or that specific type of drawing, they knew what it was and they knew it “, said Thueson.

Anime refers to a cartoon style produced or inspired by Japanese animation. Its growing popularity is why Thueson said she knew they had to offer it.

“It’s very popular with kids, and it’s a really good entry point for some of those students who may feel like art isn’t really their thing,” Thueson said.

The success of the anime class, Thueson said, is largely due to art instructor Kelly Land, a lover of all things anime.

“A teacher here at the Kemp Center, a friend of mine approached me about teaching anime lessons here, and I was like, ‘Okay, this sounds like a dream come true,'” Land said.

Land can live out that dream in every class she takes with her students, like Lorelei Mitchell.

“A few years ago, I couldn’t draw, I couldn’t sketch or anything,” Mitchell said. “I could kind of draw stick figures and that was pretty much it, and my mom signed me up to get into that, and that’s how I got here, and that’s great to be able to do stuff now.”

Seeing this progress is something these students and Land never tire of seeing.

“The principles I show them can continue after they’re in class, and I tell my students that all the time,” Land said. “It’s one thing for me to teach you in class, but you have to take it home, practice it and keep it with you.”

The program has become one the board is immensely proud of.

“We can have kids here in Wichita Falls who are able to interact with this art form that comes from a completely different culture; it’s wonderful,” Thueson said.

The Arts Council plans to continue teaching everyone to embrace this different, yet beautiful art form.

For more details on how you can attend the next Animated Art Class offered by the Canada Council, check out their website here.


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