Teens Take on Fall Arts Festival


By Jissell Kruse

Additional Reporting by Kennedy Cook

The Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival (MVFAF) was held on September 15th and 16th in Old Mill Park. The festival has historically been a community event that “reflects the spirit of Mill Valley and its purpose of supporting established independent artists and emerging student artists.” The festival had a teen admission of $8 and renting a booth ranged from $37 to $47.

“The Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival …  is 62 years of a community event that also gives four scholarships to Tam art students every year,”Tam AP Art teacher and member of the MVFAF committee, Zachary Gilmour said. “[It] [encourages]  young people to make art … the scholarships are cash in hand to pay for the AP portfolio or buy art supplies.”

The MVFAF featured four Tam Students for the Emerging Artist Scholarship Award this month. These students were Dean Weiler, Taylor Kibrick, Marley Constantine, and Maren Curtis. The Emerging Artist Scholarships were two $500 awards given to two senior AP Studio Art students and two $250 awards given to two juniors in either 2D Design, Drawing or 3D portfolio. According to the MVFAF website, “Unlike most scholarships that go directly to the institution, the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival awards are given directly to the student to be used for tuition and [school] art supplies.”

In an interview with representatives of the MFAF, Weiler described how art has continually served as an outlet for him. “Art has helped me throughout my whole life, with my depression and troubling family issues. I came out as transgender just before my freshman year of high school, and art has helped me work through emotions and issues I deal with. Art has helped me have a voice for things words could not convey.”

Teens were also able to enter for their own booths at the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival, such as senior, Niles Wertz. “[Wertz] does bowl turning and  woodworking. He was accepted into the festival as an exhibiting artist. He went through the process and was jurred in just like any other adult and payed for the booth when he was accepted and will be at the festival,” said Gilmour.

According to Wertz, “The path of creating my own business as a 17 year-old has been a deeply educational experience. In a combination with developing my abilities as a craftsman, this path has led me to something I truly love.” It takes a lot of courage for many people to share their art with people other than themselves, but it can be extremely rewarding. “Even if it’s hard what you’re putting out there, when you share it [to the world you’ll maybe find that you’re not alone, to be perfectly honest… It can be scary but it can also be a relief,” said Gilmour.