Instructor Peter Ziou of the Art Department praises Keevil as one who is adept at “taking an idea, feeling, emotion and expressing it with ease through media.” He added that “Kai is more than a student. He is an individual who takes the history of the world surrounding him and expresses that abstraction.”
Perhaps inspired by his aunt, who is an artist that creates windows with colored glass, Keevil nevertheless states that his passion for art came in an inadvertent manner. He explained that he was initially drawn to the art classroom room in elementary school because “I liked my art teacher and I used to hide in the art room in elementary school when I didn’t want to have to deal with the kids in my class during recess and lunch. I would do art, chat, and eat Oreos.”
Yet the clandestine snacks in his refuge unwittingly exposed Keevil to the wonders of art and his natural talent. He came to Hopkins in seventh grade and hasn’t stopped his artistic work since.
Inspired by teachers such as Ziou, Jackie Labelle-Young and Eric Mueller, Keevil expressed his great admiration for the Art Department at Hopkins as a whole. “I really appreciate the amount of freedom and support that the teachers provide, and the gallery is a recourse that I have only recently been fully appreciating.”
Keevil has fondly embraced the latitude and freedom that his teachers have allowed him throughout his time at Hopkins. “In seventh grade, Mr. Ziou let me use acrylic paint on plastic wrap to create a stained window with a picture of a tree on it,” Keevil recalled. “I was so excited at the encouragement that I got, it made me feel like there was a place at Hopkins for me to forge ahead with whatever I felt inclined toward. And surprisingly, the piece of art is still up near the art rooms.”
Since his early days at Hopkins, Keevil has forged ahead with different types of media. One piece which Keevil admits to being proud of is a wall of faces which he created in ninth grade. He also stated that his current project, using various colored masking tapes, holds special meaning to him. Mr. Ziou comments on this tape project in praising his student: “Kai’s present work reflects the natural growth of an artist and his special ability to take a notion, feeling, thought or idea and execute it to its fullest without ever giving up or letting go.”
Besides displaying many of his works around The Hill, Keevil has presented his pieces elsewhere. Last year, he had an art showing at the Woodbridge Town Library. There, he exemplified his talent in multiple media types including pencil drawings, acrylic paintings and sculpture. However, Kai is not proud nor boastful of his art showings or works. He admits that art is “ a stabilizing force in my life, and a way to emote without disturbing anything.”
As Keevil’s tenure at Hopkins is coming to a close, he wistfully admitted that he will miss “the community that I have created here at Hopkins.” Although uncertain of future career plans, he asserts that he would “like to have a profession which helps to shift other people’s perceptions about how humans interact.” Regardless, he is definitely certain about his future artistic goals. “My one and only goal for art is to keep doing it honestly and wholeheartedly, which is pretty much also the only goal I have for my life.” The Hopkins community will surely feel the absence of this skillful artist up on The Hill.