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Local Sculptor Opens Young Artist Academy

mardie rees

Gig Harbor, WA— Parents these days are asking it all the time: “How do I nurture my child’s love for art?” We all remember how drawing and painting excited us at a young age. There is just something inherently magical about creating things. This summer, local artist and sculptor Mardie Rees is launching an art school focused on fine art fundamentals, and fun.

The aptly named ‘Apprentice Academy’ will be open to kids ages 6-11 and will run from June to August in the form of 4-day art camps. Classes will cover many important principles of fine art that are commonly not available in the public education system such as color theory, material principles, composition balance, and even art history. Students will learn a range of techniques and be treated to exciting hands-on projects that they can take home and display.

Rees explains that it was being a mother that inspired her to share what she knows with children of all ages. “My own daughter has been an art-maker since she was three,” remembers Rees, “I found myself looking for ways to teach her simple techniques that could make her art more fulfilling to her. Above all, I wanted her to learn patience and the benefits that come with persistence.”

That persistence has surely benefitted Rees, who has since become an award-winning artist in her own right. The internationally recognized sculptor creates monumental work for grand memorials and public spaces, as well as intimate pieces for private families. Most recently, she unveiled ‘Soul of the Forward and Faithful,’ a three-figure WWII memorial honoring a group called the U.S. Marine Raiders that is now permanently housed in the National Museum of the Marine Corps near Washington, DC. Rees has also won accolades for her commissioned work and personal projects, which explore fundamentally human themes such as womanhood, faith, youth, struggle and hope. Her work has been recognized and awarded by many organizations including the Portrait Society of America, Art Renewal Center, Allied Artists of America, and the National Sculpture Society.

‘Apprentice Academy’ is held at a private studio in Gig Harbor and runs from June 29th to August 27th and is open to kids 6-11. Cost is $150 per 4-day session plus materials. To register, visit or call Jeremy at (253)279-3244 for more information.

To keep up to date on new classes as they become available, follow Apprentice Academy at