Talent and creativity are widespread among the youth of our area,” says Shawn Kennedy, head of Fine Arts at Caprock High School. He’s also the executive director of Blank Spaces Murals and president of the Texas Panhandle Arts Educators Association. “The quality of work being produced in the Texas Panhandle by these emerging artists is phenomenal.” 

That talent and creativity are visible across the city, from the public art designed and painted by high school members of Blank Spaces Murals to community events hosted by the Texas Panhandle Art Education Association, Window on a Wider World, Arts in the Sunset and the Visual Arts Scholastic Event. 

“These types of events are vital for young creatives to see their work in a public space, be inspired by peers and receive constructive feedback while sharing the widespread talent of kids with our community,” Kennedy explains. Along with other TPAEA instructors, he has been working to give young artists opportunities to express complex ideas through creativity. 

He points out that emerging artists—including those on these pages—are more likely to become active participants in the life of local cities, using their gifts on behalf of businesses, nonprofits and local governments. “Investing in young artists and the creative culture of the High Plains is imperative to building a vibrant, socially engaged and astute community,” he says. “The more well-rounded they are from the benefits of arts education, the more change and impact they can have on the people of the Texas Panhandle.”