Like many freshmen, Kalin Talbott was undecided about her major during her first year at Loyola Marymount University.
That was until she discovered the ARTsmart program. The experience not only solidified what she would major in, but it also became one of her biggest passions.
“Something really clicked after I first participated in ARTsmart,” says Talbott, a studio arts major and art history minor. “I learned about the power of art and how that can be a valuable emotional tool. It’s still playing a huge part in my life today.”
ARTsmart gives LMU students the opportunity to work as artist-mentors to K-8 students in underserved schools with no other arts programming. The student mentors develop lesson plans and lead classes in projects that incorporate formal art issues, art history and visual culture. Students in the classroom receive the opportunity to work on a variety of art projects. At the end of each session, they share and talk about their work. Talbott says she was amazed by the growth of the students in just one semester.
“It was incredible to see the transformation of the students,” Talbott says. “They really went in-depth into the art projects and genuinely gave it a chance. Some students were even able to open up about big things going on in their life and share them with their classmates.”
After every semester, Talbott would call her father, Robb, and tell him about how powerful the program was and how invigorated she felt doing it. In fall 2008, inspired by her passion for art and her leadership as an ARTsmart mentor, The Robert & Audrey Talbott Foundation established the Kalin Hart Talbott Art Scholarship. The scholarship fund offers much needed financial aid to undergraduate art and art history students at LMU who participate in the ARTsmart program.
“I’m so excited about these scholarships,” Talbott says. “I have so much faith in ARTsmart and in the direction that it’s moving. Sometimes it’s not possible to see what the scholarship money is helping, but I’ve worked with this program, and I know it’s going into good hands.”
Talbott hopes the scholarships will help continue to build the ARTsmart program and to encourage more schools to see the value of art and art education.
“ARTsmart is powerful beyond words,” Talbott says. “I’ve seen it give students something to care about at school, and that only helps the chances of them continuing their education.”