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Idyllwild Arts Academy

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The Idyllwild Arts Summer Program: a Continuum of Excellence

Idyllwild, CA, November 16, 2012 --( It started with a simple vision: “Create a remote place where people of all backgrounds could come together to experience the arts.” That vision spurred the creation of the Idyllwild Summer Arts Program that in its 63rd year creates a setting for artists of all ages to experience what program director Steve Fraider calls “The Magic of Idyllwild”.

What creates this magic began with the dream of Max and Beatrice Krone, founders of the Idyllwild Arts Foundation which supports both the Academy and the Summer Arts Program. Fraider, who first attended summer classes in 1965, says, “The magic can be expressed as a simple equation: Passion + Excellence in teaching = The Magic of Idyllwild.” Fraider continued, “For most of the program, skill level is irrelevant, but having a passion to learn and experience art first-hand is vital to the program’s success.” The second element, excellence in teaching, provides the catalyst that sparks creativity as attendees learn to create something that they never have before.

This year’s theme centers on the idea of continuum, which without coincidence is the title of a work by Idyllwild Arts Academy Visual Arts department chair Gerald Clarke. Clarke, who also happens to be vice-chair of the Cahuilla Indian tribe, created Continuum Basket to reflect the traditional Cahuilla spiraling technique of basket weaving as homage to the past and as a way to look into the future. "Continuum Basket" will be centerpieced during this year’s Native Arts Festival in which select artists will create individual pieces that will be displayed throughout the two-week festival across several modalities: painting, pottery, culinary arts, dance and music.

Virtually anyone can attend a variety of intensive workshops in music, dance, theatre, visual arts, writing, filmmaking, and Native Arts in a beautiful, remote mountaintop setting that is far removed from the distractions of everyday life. Hands on workshops, lectures, and demonstrations are complemented by a series of readings, performances and exhibitions.

Workshop titles such as Hot Clay, Hot Metals Week, Distinguished Artists Chamber Music, Screenwriting, Innovative Stone Setting, Plein Air painting, and dozens more, provide not only an arts vacation get-away for all ages (including Family Camp) but allow classes to be taught in a beautiful mountain setting. New classes this year include a newly expanded fashion design program for teens taught by Gerard Dislaire, the former vice-president of Juicy Couture and the addition of a second session of the ever-popular Art Exploration class with local artist Rachel Welch.

Attendees aren’t limited to beginning-level artists. Many are accomplished artists who also delight in the magic that is Idyllwild, returning year after year to continue to hone their skills as well as learn new ones. Navajo visual artist and accomplished weaver Marlowe Katoney, a 2012 participant, praised the program, saying, “The Idyllwild Summer Arts program was a wonderful experience. Not since my college arts classes have I been able to participate in a class where other students are just as passionate about what they are doing as you are.”

Fraider, who first attended as a youngster in 1965, says, “The program is still very much like it was in the 1960’s and ‘70’s, and it’s what sets us apart from other programs. We have maintained and upheld our commitment to preserve the Krone’s original vision. Everyone in the program works with professional artists who are also top-notch teachers.” During that ­first summer in 1950, 100 adults attended classes. Today, that number has grown to more than 1700 adults and children attend each summer.

While very little has changed over the years, there are a few changes of note in response to the changing needs of its students. Director of Special Programs Heather Companiott explained, “Many of the public schools have shifted their schedules to begin the school year in mid to late August, so we shifted our schedule to accommodate them.” Another change that will more easily accommodate families with hectic summer schedules includes mixing age-specific workshops across several sessions to allow families with children in more than one age group attend simultaneously.

This year’s program runs from June 16 – August 11, with each session is centered around specific focus, including, but not limited to: Metals Week: June 16 – 20; Hot Clay Week I: June 16 – 22; Hot Clay Week II: June 23 – 29; Family Camp: June 22 – 28; and Native American Arts Festival: June 30 – July 6.

Additional workshops in Music, dance, and orchestra are also offered. Companiott emphasized the quality and reputation of the summer faculty, stating, “Our faculty consists of artists who are passionate about teaching. Many return year after year because of the reputation that the program holds provides an unwavering level of excellence in summer art education for students of all ages.”

Registration is set to begin on February 1st, 2013.

For more information about the Idyllwild Arts Summer Program or Idyllwild Arts Academy, visit the website at or by calling 951.659.2171.
Contact Information
Idyllwild Arts Academy
Julia Countryman
951-659-2171 x2311

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