CHI Volunteer Spotlight: Kevin Piehl

August 18, 2016 By vincent-uribe

In a studio full of strong personalities, our Chicago artists and staff appreciate the calm presence and consistency of Kevin Piehl, an active volunteer who supports artists in artmaking and other daily studio activities.  We sat down with him this week to learn more about his experience as a volunteer and his life outside the studio.      How and when did you get involved with The Arts of Life? “I first heard about The Arts of Life at Do Division Fest a couple of years ago.  Once I started school and my schedule freed up during the days, I started volunteering here for a few days as part of a class and then I continued coming back once the course was finished.  I started at the end of February or beginning of March, so I’ve been here almost six months.”    What is your background (school or art practice)?“I don’t have any formal training in art.  I’ve played music most of my life and I’m in a band called Bike Cops.  My mom did a lot of art growing up and she paints a lot.  I’ve always really liked art – it’s the best!” “In terms of school, I got my bachelors from UIC in Psychology, and after that I worked with children with disabilities.  Now I’m in school at UIC getting my Masters in Special Education.  The Arts of Life has helped me acclimate to working with people with various disabilities, but I just like coming here more than anything else.”     What are some of your favorite aspects of volunteering at The Arts of Life?“My favorite aspect of volunteering at The Arts of Life is working with the artists.  I love talking with the artists and joking around with them and seeing how all this cool art gets made.”     What do you like to do outside of volunteering?  “I like to play in my band.  The genre is dreamy rock, I guess.  I like to watch TV with my wife.  We like watching The X-Files a lot and The Wire is one of our favorite shows.  I also like to record music, read, and go hiking.” Kevin’s interest in music naturally sparked a relationship between him and Chicago studio artist, Bill Lilly.  “I like talking to Bill about heavy metal a lot,” said Kevin.  When asked his opinion on Kevin, Bill had nothing but good things to say: “I think he’s an awesome person and he’s really nice to me and he’s really nice to the rest of us.  I want him to continue being here because everybody likes him, I like him.  We love him.”