Blackfoot woman shares love of art with children

Morning News - Jen Andrus
Chaune Bumgarner proudly displays some of her students' artwork that will be showcased in an art show Thursday.
Chaune Bumgarner has an eye for art and the endless capacity to love children. That is why Bumgarner is thrilled to present "Art by Kids" first ever art show Thursday from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The 37 students will be showcasing five to seven of their best pieces including brightly colored art of dinosaurs, fairies, flowers and abstract images in various different mediums.
Bumgarner said she tries to teach the kids everything she knows. "If they see something they want to try, they just let me know." She teaches the classes in small groups of four children each and are separated by gender.
"Theire tastes are so different,.the boys wanting to draw dinosaurs and ninjas and the girls gravitating towards flowers and ponies," she said. The students range in age from four to 13.
Bumgarner's classes are currently full. "I can't believe how much response I have had."
She said that, beyond the 37 students currently enrolled, she has a waiting list. "I hope to someday have a big space."
For now Bumgarner is content with the smaller office space at 370 N. Meridian with its white counter spotted with paint and smelling of art supplies.
Bumgarner's big heart reflects on the students she teaches. She has watched and patiently guided them as they come and put their emotions down on the canvas or mold them into a sculpture.
She said, "The kids are starting to come out of their shells. They will come in quiet and as they start to draw or sculpt they begin to talk. I come in sometimes thinking I am having a bad day, wondering how I will have enough energy to lift them up- and the kids end up lifting me."
While Bumgarner's education in art is limited with only two years of full time practice, dabbling in the arts in high school and an uncompleted degree in Art History put aside for parenthood, her talent is beyond exceptional.
A large canvas greets you at the entrance to her office, a more recent work that she is auctioning off at the art show to help a 15-year-old named Gannon who is trying to stave off the last cycles of Cystic Fybrosis.
"I wanted to help and I wanted the proceeds to go to a child." Bumgarner said of putting together the silent auction that will continue until July 1. The piece is light and airy. Three birds sit amongst the branches of a deciduous tree with a bird cage hanging symbolically from one of the branches, door wide open. The lyrics of "Three Little Birds" by Bob Marley run up the side of the tree, adding depth and focus.
Bumgarner's classes cost $30 per month and include all art supplies for one hour a week. Contact her at 681-5560 with questions or to take part in the silent auction.