Ainsley Bruton ’21 Has an Ah Haa Moment

My Gondola ride to work every morning

I’m Ainsley Bruton (she/they) and this summer I am interning with Ah Haa School for the Arts in Telluride, Colorado. Ah Haa is a non-profit arts school that provides arts education classes for both kids and adults, along with art events and programs for the Telluride community. My work days start off with a lovely hike through the town of Mountain Village where I get on the gondola that takes me through the mountains down into Telluride.

Once I get to work my day consists of assisting/co-teaching arts classes and working on projects for the school. The teachers that I get to work with are all working artists in and around Telluride who are all extremely talented and dedicated to their craft. In classes I work with kids ranging from about 4-16 years old doing a variety of different types of art across a broad range of mediums. One of the first classes I worked with was called “Creating Comics,” and over the course of 4 days the students (ages 7-12) developed characters and plot lines for their comic books. The work from that class was so diverse and creative, and I loved seeing what everyone came up with. I have also helped with other classes such as “Pet Portraits,” “Superhero Theatre,” and “Stamp it Out!”

Some of the comic books made by my students

When I’m not helping teach a class at Ah Haa I am usually working with the other interns on projects for the school such as making and putting up posters, glazing pieces from ceramics classes, or making thank you cards for donors. One of my favorite projects that I have been working on recently is making a Lady Gaga inspired meat dress out of felt steaks that we are sewing, beading, and embroidering as a part of the upcoming Art Auction. The dress is a kind of fun and silly item that will accompany Lady Gaga concert tickets that are being auctioned off at the event. Another project that we’ve worked on is creating a large hot air balloon costume to be worn at the upcoming 4th of July parade that myself and the other interns will be taking part in.

Some of my sketchbook drawings from class

The Ah Haa building where I work

Aside from helping with classes and projects, I also get to take the adult classes that Ah Haa School for the Arts offers and work on my own creative projects in the studios. Just this past weekend I took a sketchbook class where we traveled around town and did drawings from observation, and this upcoming week I will be taking a three day long painting class focusing on color theory and different palettes. Working with different members of the arts community both in my adult classes and kids classes is definitely my favorite part of this job. I love knowing that there are so many different ways to be involved in art and art education.

Written by Ainsley Bruton ’21, fine arts major, history of art minor

Edited by Emily Dombrovskaya ’19