Meet Kacie Kamins: An arts educator inspired by family
By Jennifer Escalona
Photo by Tim Goldman
Whether she is running her own photography business or helping to implement a visual arts program for cancer patients, it is clear that senior Kacie Kamins has a passion for every aspect of art education.
Inspired by her photographer grandmother, Kacie picked up a camera at a young age. During her senior year at Kell High School in Marietta, she landed her first professional photography gig. By then, Kacie already knew that she wanted to be a high school art teacher and that Kennesaw State University was her college of choice.
At KSU, Kacie has discovered a passion for working with students with different learning needs. For one of her classes, Kacie created an art lesson plan for special needs students at a local high school. Her group chose a pirate theme, and Kacie led the class through the process of creating jewelry one might find in a pirate’s chest.
“It was amazing to see the students’ faces when they realized art can be something you wear. They were all jumping up and down, running around to show one another.” When Kacie is not in class or student teaching, she is working at a local elementary school’s after-school program, helping the students with homework, leading them through Spanish vocabulary and, of course, giving art lessons.
Kacie’s devotion to education also extends beyond the classroom. In late fall 2007, Kennestone Hospital Cancer Center approached KSU’s art education program about creating a visual arts program for patients in their center. According to Associate Professor of Art Rick Garner, Kacie “became a key asset to the initiative, and gave significant guidance and leadership in the development stages of the program.” As a gift for the Cancer Center’s Garden of Courage, Kacie created a series of digital photographs spelling out the letters in the word “courage.”
More of Kacie’s work will be on display in late fall 2008 in a juried show at the Georgia Art Education Association Annual Member Exhibition in Athens, Ga. Her entry is a sculpture composed entirely of found objects that are meaningful to Kacie. It includes a base made from a slab of a tree she and her brother once played on, copper wire from her father’s business and purple beads inherited from her grandmother. The sculpture makes up a weeping willow and is aptly entitled “Family Tree.”