Kamil Peters' studio arts concentration is matched by an equal interest in education, particularly alternative approaches to teaching basic core curricular studies.
As head of the Amherst youth arts program “Get Up Get Down,” Peters uses metalworking as a method of teaching subjects that range from science to history.
He hopes the lessons connect well with the students’ classroom learning while instilling a new sense of ownership in their educations. It’s a central part of his Div III (senior) project.
Like the students he works with, ownership of one's education is paramount for Peters. It was only after transferring from community college to Hampshire as a Baldwin Scholar, he says, that he found a place that really suited him.
At Hampshire, Peters says, “There is a structure, but the leniency in the path you choose is great.” He credits faculty and staff for their guidance, including art professor Bill Brayton, studio arts technician Greg Kline, theatre professor Natalie Sowell, Lemelson shop supervisor Glenn Armitage and assistant Don Dupuis, and Center for Innovative Education director Madelaine Marquez.
The artistic side of his Division III consisted of 100 masks that put a modern spin on their use in African societies while commenting upon the cross-cultural phenomenon of face alteration. The educational component centered on the work Peters did as head of “Get Up Get Down,” the youth arts program Peters started.
While a student, the talented metal sculptor already got commissions for his work.
Peters will go to graduate school for metal sculpture, and plans to continue working with youth educational programs in the community.