The Abilene Education Foundation kicked off the Young Masters AP Art program for the 2022-23 school year Sept. 6 at The Grace Museum. AP Art students from both Abilene High School and Cooper High School participated in a workshop with local artist and former Abilene ISD educator Mary K. Huff.

Huff led the students through an exploration of the creative process through collage in a workshop designed for all students, no matter their media preference. After a brief introduction to the medium, method, and materials available, students went to work creating their pieces.

The Young Master’s program got its start in 2007 and is modeled after the O’Donnell Foundation program at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Our AEF Young Master’s program is now unique in this part of the country,” said AEF Executive Director Adam Samuels. “To our knowledge, no other juried, judged art exhibition show in the region has show awards that are college scholarships.”

Huff, who graduated from Abilene High and then majored in Painting and Metalsmithing at Midwestern State University, taught at CHS before retiring in 2014. She’s a member of the Center for Contemporary Arts in Abilene, working in assemblage and collage. 

The program was the first of three that will occur during the fall. On Sept. 30, AP Art students from the AHS and CHS will learn about Solarplate Etching with artist Colette Copeland. That process combines photography, design, and printmaking. Students will learn about the process, expose their plate, and print it on a press.

On Oct. 24, students will work with oil clay to create an additive and subtractive sculpture in the manner that collaborative artist Steve Neves uses to build his sculptures that are shown around downtown Abilene. Students will learn about the process, technique, and more.