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Color Story
The Oklahoma City Girls Art School gives young creatives a place to shine.
Ben Luschen

AT THE OKLAHOMA City Girls Art School, rays of sunshine pour into the studio through large glass windows. Bustling volunteers assist engaged student artists ranging from grades four to nine. Hand-painted murals decorate cabinets. Art supplies of all manner, as well as afterschool snacks, are in full supply. Gigi, a friendly black poodle, makes laps around the studio in search of pets and praise.

The nonprofit’s home base—formerly Fred’s Sign Company—feels ideal for its purpose, but the school has only called this building home since June 2019.

Kathy Rawdon, an artist and volunteer instructor whose involvement goes back to its inception five years ago, remembers the days of sharing spaces with community education center SixTwelve and later Individual Artists of Oklahoma.

Those hosts were gracious, but there is nothing like having your own dedicated space. Rawdon credits the school’s growth to founder Kiona Millirons.

Long before she founded the Oklahoma City program in 2015, Millirons’ work as a teaching artist helped prepare her to run her own organization.

“She has been able to grow this so beautifully, and I think it is fantastic,” Rawdon says.

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January/February 2020