Artist shares his talent with neighborhood

by Becky GINOS BOUNTIFUL—E.J. Keyes can’t get enough of art. In fact, this Viewmont High art teacher let his passion spill over into the summer as he offered a community art program every Tuesday through June. “I was really busy working on my master’s at BYU,” said Keyes. “My kids were always asking when I’d come home and be with them. I decided I would dedicate a specific time to do art together. Then I thought maybe that would be fun to do with others.” Keyes created a community art day every Tuesday for family, friends and members of the community. “I had some planned stuff, but mostly it was just a place to come and make art,” he said. “We did homemade paper, string art and tie dye. I just put a sign in front of my house. I thought it would be a good opportunity for my girls to set up and take down and share what they like with other people.” Mostly children came and their parents helped. “We had about 45 people at one night,” he said. “It was fun to see what people could do with a creating opportunity and be actively involved in something they may not have done on their own. Then they could go home and do it and expand upon it.” Keyes likes working on large projects and had the students paint a mural at Viewmont during the construction. “It was in a closed off area that we knew would come down,” he said. “We wanted to make something beautiful out of something intrusive to our space.” His students have also done set designs for the plays. “I’ve done the chalk art festival too,” said Keyes. “I like stuff people can interact with.” Not only is Keyes creative with art, he’s made himself into characters for birthday parties. “My sister is on the Bountiful City Council,” he said. “She (Kendalyn Harris) was the first character in princess parties then she started getting requests for boys’ parties. I ended up playing several different characters for parties and events like Spiderman and Jack Sparrow. He was my favorite.” But art is his first passion. “We just held the classes in my backyard on the patio,” said Keyes. “My girls pretty much all participated in some fashion. It was just an idea for people to come make art – I think we’ll do it again next year.”


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