In Kids & Family

New Web site offers artistic resources for teens

Column presented in partnership with GUMBO Magazine. For more information or to subscribe to GUMBO Magazine, log on to mygumbo.com.

The newest creative Web site on the cyber block is http://www.N2Arts.com, which offers a range of resources for teens interested in the performing, visual and literary arts. Whether you'd like to be an actor, poet or painter, there are articles to read, galleries to look through and message forums that add up to a large online community of young artists.

A first visit to N2Arts will have you looking at a white-on-black page, with red buttons directing you to the talent of your choice: photography, theatre, dance, music, film/video, writing, voice or fine arts. While all visitors have access to the informative articles written by other members, you must register to gain access to the galleries, forums and other special parts of the Web site.

N2Arts targets artistic teens looking for ways to share their talents and learn new things from other creative teens like them. Instead of other Web sites that just focus on one artistic medium, N2Arts brings it all together.

"From an educator's standpoint, I would think that it could be valuable to high school or middle school teachers [and students] as a resource of decent examples of well-written, high-interest pieces. The writing in the articles is clear and straightforward," explains Teacher Katrina Smits.

The articles are written by a range of different people including both professionals and teens. Past articles have included how to form writing critique groups and how to purchase the best digital camera.

One of the perks of becoming a member is that you get to visit galleries of work by other N2Arts members. Any member can create a gallery of their artwork, leaving it on the Web site so others can post comments. It's a great way to gain feedback on your craft.

"I really like how you can post your work in the online galleries in a community where other artists will see it," says Melissa Grant, 20.

The message forums are a great way to network, although they are still relatively unused. The forums offer a chance to write to other teens who share the same interests as you. Some teens ask for critiques on their novels-in-progress. Others simply write conversation starters, asking what part people sing in choirs, or if anyone knows of upcoming photography contests.

"I'm a college student, but I'm also a graphic designer and photographer," explains Grant. "This site gave me advice on how I can make money from my art while I'm in school, as well as portfolio tips."

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