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Emily Skiles’ Senior Project: CVHS student turns passion for art into action

Emily Skiles' art.

Photo by Lorie Palmer
Emily Skiles' art.

Art show, sale, raise money for school art program

“Drawing and painting is an everyday hobby of mine,” said Clearwater Valley High School senior Emily Skiles.

Skiles, who lives in Kamiah, was host to an art show called Colors From Within Art Show on Feb. 27 at CVHS. This event is part of her senior project.

Skiles was born in Lewiston and raised in Kamiah until the age of 3 when her family moved to Virginia for her father’s work until she was 7. She then moved back to Kamiah and attended school there until she started at CVHS her freshman year. She is the daughter of Kenneth Skiles and Gena Skiles.

Having been drawing since she was about age 1, Skiles said art was an obvious choice for a senior project.

“My great-grandma and mother are artists, and my dad paints cars, so there has always been an artistic influence in my life,” she explained.

Though she knew she wanted to intertwine art with her senior project, she said she knew she also wanted more.

“I wanted to do something impactful,” she said. “With the recent [district] budget cut of $1.2 million from Secure Rural School funding, there was a big inspiration for me to raise money for the art program.”

Skiles felt if the school needed to cut something, “the first things to go, I believe, would be art and music,” she said. “I wanted art to have some kind of fund to ensure that they could be a part of the school for a long time.”

Skiles said every day at school and at home, for the last month, she painted as much as she could and asked for donations from the art class and community, receiving about 50 paintings and a few drawings.

“My goal was to raise $500. I thought it would be a small success that just a couple families came to and, honestly, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to sell everything. Within the project I wanted to educate people on the psychological effects of art [therapy] as well so there was a poster board that described what every color meant and how they are related to emotions and the psychological effects of art.”

In the end, Skiles was able to raise about $1,500 and said she was amazed at the number of people who attended the show.


Emily Skiles

“It was so much fun, and I was glad I could bring some art into the community,” she smiled.

She sold every painting as well as a large number of pieces of donated ceramics.

Skiles said she feels good that the money will be used to help with the art program for supplies and other needed areas, and that this “can continue even after I have graduated.”

Skiles’ favorite subjects are art and English and she enjoys hunting, fishing, camping, dirt bike riding and basketball.

Following graduation, she plans on attending Lewis Clark State College for dental hygiene.

“Someday I hope that I will be in the right place so that I can afford to attend art school,” she added. In the meantime, “I plan on continuing my passion of art as a side hobby.”


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