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A “prize” of a film maker

Local teen chronicles creation of ArtPrize entries

Seventeen-year-old Sam Klee loves the arts. And he loves to make films. So it’s a logical result that Sam would choose to shoot a film recording the progress of several artists in the second annual ArtPrize competition in Grand Rapids.

“My main focus is the process behind it all,” explained Sam. “You often see the finished product (artwork) but not all the work that goes into it.”

Cedar Springs Film maker Sam Klee films artist Debra Reid Jenkins while she paints her entry for ArtPrize. Courtesy photo. Sam Klee, 17, is filming a documentary on ArtPrize.

Sam is a homeschooled junior, and the son of Jim and Diana Klee of Cedar Springs. The family moved here about three years ago from Indianapolis. It was there that Sam first got a taste of filmmaking. “I had some friends there that were interested in it and it grew from there,” he said.

Earlier this year, a film he made called “Stand up! March for Life 2010” won second place in the Kent District Library’s Film Festival. (You can view it by going to www.kdl.org or www.youtube.com.) “I was looking for a unique event to do another documentary and ArtPrize seemed like the perfect thing,” explained Sam.

He contacted ArtPrize about showcasing local artists involved in the competition, and they sent out a letter to various artists about the project. Sam is following about six different artists from the West Michigan area, including painters, sculptors, and even a person doing a mosaic of Martin Luther King Jr.’s face from Rubik’s cubes. One of the artists, David Huang, is a talented coppersmith from Sand Lake who will be displaying his work at the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

One painter Sam is following is Debra Reid Jenkins. She just finished her painting of footprints along what looks like the Lake Michigan shoreline. Sam was amazed at the way it progressed. “There’s a whole lot to it that you just wouldn’t think about,” he said.

Sam is both filming and putting up photos of the artists’ progress on his website, www.uthinkmedia.com. “I’ve gotten a lot of traffic to the website and a lot of good response so far,” said Sam. “And the artists have been great.”

Check out his website and leave him some comments. It’s great that he’s giving us a sneak peak of some of the art for ArtPrize, and we look forward to seeing his finished film!

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One Response to “A “prize” of a film maker”

  1. lori says:

    Best wishes for a great film! I hope the Post will keep us posted on your progress.




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