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A Ribbon for Katrina

A Ribbon for Katrina
Posted on 03/22/2019
Golden High School foreign exchange student Katrina Karo is shown with one of her many portraits as an inset.The creative juices were really flowing in the AP studio art class at Golden High School. The students had plenty of visual inspiration, including hanging collages of boots, barrels, lanterns, and other bits of Western Americana. The setting is unique, and that’s just the way Tim Miller wants it. Miller, who’s been teaching art for 17 years at Golden, likes to keep things interesting for his many students, no matter the medium in which they choose to work.

“They love it, they have so much fun doing it,” said Miller.

Miller says the best part of his job is when a student comes out of the blue with an amazing display of ability; a student like Katrina Karo.

“Katrina? I just saw that she had the talent,” said Miler. “She really likes to do portraits, and that really came through a lot. She didn’t have a lot of experience in different mediums. I introduced her to painting, oil paints, watercolor, just different drawing techniques.”

Karo is a foreign exchange student from Estonia. English is one of just ten languages she knows, and one of four in which she is fluent. She attributes her lack of an accent to constant study and practice, dating back to when she was just a little girl. That hunger for knowledge extended to the world of art, something she first experimented with on her own.

“I just decided to look up a bunch of YouTube videos and my grandma’s sister is an artist so I kind of looked at some of her paintings and tried to re-create it,” explained Karo.

She had hoped to go to art school in her native country, but a competing commitment to music prevented it.

“I had no time to do that because sometimes I was at the music school four days a week; I had to do homework and things like that,” she explained. “The Estonian school system is that you get so much homework and you have to do so much besides school. It was too much.”

Coming to the U.S. and enrolling at Golden gave her the creative freedom to unleash herself as an artist. She quickly impressed many with her natural talent, including Miller, who made sure one of her monoprint portraits, a one-day project, was entered in the 2019 Jeffco Schools Foundation “Equity & Excellence” Art Exhibit. Karo’s piece earned her a Best in Show ribbon.

“When I found out I got Best in Show, I was so shocked,” said Karo. “Trying something new out, and actually getting some recognition for it. It’s really amazing. I definitely appreciate it a lot.”

Katrina’s time at Golden High School is almost done; she has to return to Estonia, at the end of the semester. She says she’ll always be grateful to Miller not only for the encouragement for her to grow as an artist but also the confidence to possibly make it her living.

“I definitely want to have my own gallery at some point. I’m definitely going to do it somehow,” said Karo.

“So many students, they hear the thing about artists, it’s so hard to be an artist. Starving artist, all of that. But the people that are making a living doing art, they love it,” added Miller. “If you work hard, good things happen. If you want to be involved in art whether it’s owning a gallery, or managing or having your own, you could do it.”

See the JPS-TV version of this story here or below.

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