MOUNDRIDGE — When Lacee Scriven went to work at a pharmacy in McPherson, she had no idea she would end up with an opportunity to share her passion for art with residents of her hometown of Moundridge.
"You don't have to be an artist to be an artist," Scriven said. "I can just sit down and make something and don't have to restrict myself."
Scriven is a graduate of Moundridge High School who dedicated every spare moment of her senior year to art.
"It's something I've enjoyed for years and years," Scriven said. "...There wasn't anything the teacher would give me that I didn't excel with."
After taking first place at a Heart of America Art Festival, Scriven went on to study at The Art Institutes International - Kansas City. There, she focused on digital arts — learning about photography, graphic design and film.
Preferring to work with her hands rather than a computer, Scriven moved back to McPherson County and began freelancing. Her projects included creating watercolor illustrations for the children's book "Muskrat Freaks Out" and storyboarding films — a task that requires an artist to take a movie script and draw each scene, ending up with a comic book-like set of drawings.
"I read over the script and talk to the directors about character design and what they want it to look like," Scriven explained.
Then, one winter day, Moundridge Arts Council President Lory Fisher walked into Scriven's workplace.
"During our chatting, this engaging person made mention that she is an artist," Fisher said. "My ears perked up immediately and I asked, "What type of art do you do?'"
Upon learning of Scriven's variety of skills — and the fact that she was from Moundridge — Fisher offered her a chance to interview for a teaching position with the Moundridge Arts Council.
"Getting to teach classes is something I've never done before and I've always wanted," Scriven said.
"When I viewed her portfolio, my mouth literally dropped (open)," Fisher said. "Her work demonstrates that this Moundridge artist, with many art accomplishments in high school, benefited from her additional education (in Kansas City)."
Scriven is leading the Moundridge Arts Council's Spring Art Lessons Series, with several projects slated through May.
"Everybody's got the artist bone in them, it's just a matter of finding out what you can do," Scriven said. "It's a great community thing to get people together."
"The lessons are reasonable and perfect for all ages plus Lacee's love for art is contagious," Fisher said.
The art classes have already proved popular, bringing in dozens of adults and children to try their hands at making something of their own.
"There are no rules to it. ...When you're creating art, there's no right or wrong answer," Scriven said.
While she was nervous to start out, Scriven admitted the encouragement she has received from the Moundridge Arts Council and those who take her classes excites her.
"They're all so wonderful and supportive and uplifting," Scriven said. "I'm hoping to make an impact on the council and the community and keep doing it,"
Spring Art Lessons are held at the Moundridge Arts Council Building, located at 118 S. Randall in Moundridge.
Upcoming classes include Door Deco-Spring Wreaths at 10:30 a.m. March 16, Painting in 'Pairs' (Couples, Friends, Parents & Children) at 4 p.m. April 6, Barn Quilts at 9:30 a.m. April 13, Mommy’s Mosaics at 10:30 a.m. May 4 and Daddy’s Dishes at 6:30 p.m. May 9.
Class fees vary; all materials are included. To register or for more information, call or text Fisher at 620-794-6125.
Contact Patricia Middleton by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her stories on Twitter at @MiddleSentinel.