July 1, 2013
It exists to help artists and art students who lack financial means to be able to teach and study, and now the Sheppard Art Institute needs a new director.
Kang Lee Sheppard, 76, the founder and director of the institute for 15 years, will retire in September at the start of the fall semester.
"Artists are really right-brained people," Sheppard said, noting that ideally the next director has an art background and is business-savvy too.
Many artists in town have taken classes at the school, which has seen more than a thousand since its inception, Sheppard said. Last semester it had about 70 students and a dozen classes in its space at First Presbyterian Church downtown.
Sheppard, who has taught at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak Community College, said that many students have approached her wanting to take classes but are unable to pay high tuition prices.
"I told them 'Don't worry about the money, I'll give you free classes,'" said Sheppard, her second language English.
Born in Seoul, South Korea, she received a bachelor's in fine art from a public university there before coming to the United States in 1967 as an international student at CU-Boulder. She received her Master of Arts from the University of Phoenix.
"Whoever will take over will need a lot and I will still help," said Sheppard, who will remain on the school's board of directors. She is on the board of several area art groups including the Colorado Springs Art Guild, where she served as president for two years.