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Fresh-Faced Talent

In anticipation of Fresco Arts Acadamy’s Winter Showcase, Eagle Magazine introduces three up-and-coming artists.

By Pamela Kleibrink Thompson
Photography by Copper Chadwick

Eagle’s Fresco Arts Academy is a unique magnet school, which nurtures budding musicians, dancers and artists. Italian for “fresh,” Fresco Arts Academy provides its students with a fresh approach to education by allowing them to find their passion and reach their full potential. The school, which focuses on the arts, also has a strong emphasis on academics and works to build lives through artistic, academic and civic excellence by blending creative passion and academic distinction.

As winter approaches, the Academy is brimming with talent and creativity in anticipation of its annual Winter Showcase, featuring the work of students across the disciplines. Brooklyn Alquist, Aleksandr Ermek La Vigne, and Taylor Munson are just three of the students will be included in the Showcase, but are shining examples of the talent Fresco produces year after year.


Brooklyn Alquist, Musician

“Music has always played a huge role in my life,” says 15 year-old Brooklyn Alquist. “I love all kinds of music, honestly, but I really enjoy indie pop and contemporary singer-songwriter music.” Now in her fifth year at Fresco Arts, the 10th grader practices five hours a day and likes the environment the school provides. “Everyone is so accepting and open. I don’t feel intimidated or excluded at all.”

“I love performing with my school,” enthuses Brooklyn. “The students here are incredible. I feel so blessed and try to take every opportunity to play with them and my teacher Justin Nielson.”
Alquist, who is a singer by trade, also plays piano to accompany her own songwriting, which she started doing just two years ago. To date, Alquist has written ten songs, her favorite being “Blue and Black.”
For Alquist, the biggest challenge she faces as a musician is “not comparing myself to others and being comfortable with my own sound.   It’s inspiring to me when people, especially singers, forget all their imperfections and just focus on portraying a message to the audience.”

Aleksandr Ermek La Vigne, Visual Artist

Aleksandr Ermek La Vigne’s love of visual art began, he says, around the age of three. “I started drawing and then I just loved it,” says this 12 year-old visual artist. La Vigne is inspired by his adopted family because of how much they are all different in their own ways.
One of the things La Vigne likes most about Fresco Arts is “how the school promotes the arts, unlike my old school where we couldn’t draw.”

La Vigne moved to Idaho six years ago and just started attending Fresco Arts Academy this year. While the sixth grader doesn’t work at his art every day, he does devote anywhere from half-an-hour to two hours at a stretch when he does. One of La Vigne’s favorite places in the Treasure Valley is Boise’s Freak Alley. “I love going there and seeing all the different styles.”

La Vigne’s plans for the future?  “To draw as much as I can…I would like to sell my art,” he says with a smile.

Taylor Munson, Dancer

Taylor Munson’s mother enrolled her in dance class when she was just two years old. “So,” Munson says, “I really didn’t have a choice in the matter.”

For the first six or seven years, Munson simply treated dance as a hobby.  “Then I started to grow a love for it and now it’s just part of who I am.”

Munson’s favorite forms of dance are contemporary and jazz but really, she loves it all. Now a senior at Fresco, as well as the student body president, 17 year-old Munson says she dances an average of six hours a day.
“It’s a good thing I love it, because if I didn’t I’d be sick of it by now.”

When asked about time management, Munson’s approach is no nonsense: “Honestly, I’ve just developed healthy time management habits through balancing dance, school, and other activities. The best thing to do is prioritize. Decide what is most important to you and what is least important.  Other than that, the best way to manage time is to develop a habit of getting things done as soon as possible.”

Munson finds inspiration in her fellow students’ work at Fresco Arts. “Observing other art forms at my school brings me inspiration for my own art. There is so much talent. Every single day I am in awe of how gifted every single person at our school is.”

Fresco Arts Academy’s annual Winter Showcase will be held December 19 at Centennial High School, from 7–10 p.m. For more information on the school, its programs and events, visit www.frescoarts.org