Dedicated Teen Artist Honored
By Arts Council Menifee
At 19, artist Christian Keefer is still on the verge of a long journey through the art world. He looks forward to taking his talent in many different directions and was honored to receive the title of Artist of the Month for July by Arts Council Menifee.
Keefer has already shown and sold many of his works, including a large colorful painting that is now hanging at Whimsical Frozen Yogurt and Gelato at Menifee’s Countryside Marketplace. The sale was made during a show of works by many local artists at the “Arts Showcase” event, held there on May 16.
The owner of the popular yogurt shop purchased Keefer’s mixed media work named “Pure Joy” that depicts two young women enjoying an ice cream cone.
“It just all fell into place,” said Keefer, of Menifee. “The project’s coloring matched the yogurt shop to a T. I was just shocked and overwhelmed when he approached me about buying it.”
Keefer started seriously pursuing art in middle school and took art classes at Elsinore High School where he began to explore more aspects of the craft.
“My grandmother is an extremely talented artist and my dad is a commercial artist,” he said. “I got into street art (when I was younger) and it evolved from there. I discovered I really enjoyed it and wanted to keep growing as an artist.”
While still in high school, he painted tee-shirts and sold them to friends. Keefer’s ultimate goal is to create his own clothing line, using tools that haven’t been used before to create something unique.
He appreciates the genre of pop art but is all about finding a new niche to make a name for himself as an artist. Keefer likes to think outside the box and continually searches for new ways to make a statement.
“I’ll always do something with art. I get a lot of (positive) feedback and that feels really good but at the end of the day my art has to speak for itself,” he said. “If I can just make enough money to get by, that’s okay – as long as I’m doing what I love.”
Keefer’s dedication to his craft has him spending seven hours a day this summer learning more about composition and design techniques through two art classes at Mt. San Jacinto College’s Menifee Valley campus.
“We enjoy the friendly relationship with MSJC’s fine arts department and support it by participating in the college’s art shows and events,” said Linda Morrison, who co-chairs Arts Council Menifee’s Visual Arts Division with Kathy Pickett and Mimi Maki.
When Keefer isn’t at school or working in his garage studio, he helps his dad at his business. Brian Keefer has operated Freedom Signs for more than 30 years and his son said his success is due to the craftsmanship he puts into his work. Brian is responsible for many of the signs on Front Street in Old Town Temecula.
Young artists are encouraged to attend the monthly Visual Arts Division meetings, which include demonstrations. The annual patron fee of $20 is waived for student artists.
“I really appreciate the Arts Council Menifee program,” Keefer said. “I can take what I need to grow and learn in an art sense; it’s a great environment to be in as an artist.”
Arts Council Menifee offers local artists opportunities to exhibit their art – at its gallery and at special events where they can display and sell their art.
“Students are discovering the benefits of joining the Arts Council as a place to learn and share their art and be a part of Menifee’s art community,” Morrison said. “We know there are talented young artists in our city and we are thrilled when they join our organization.”