1

I have a few possibilities but I'm looking for a better word to describe how the person was helped by the environment in his pursuit of art.

He found the right environment at the academy to work on his interest in art.

He found the right environment at the academy to promote his interest in art.

He found the right environment at the academy to advance his interest in art.

hone doesn't seem to go here: He found the right environment at the academy to hone his interest in art.

  • consider "encourage" or "stimulate". – Graffito Nov 4 '16 at 20:19
  • Pique can be used. – David Handelman Nov 4 '16 at 20:20
2

Consider cultivate:

2a : to foster the growth of
2c : to improve by labor, care, or study
from merriam-webster.com

He found the right environment at the academy to cultivate his interest in art.

  • Yes cultivate was exactly what I was looking for! – Siddhartha Nov 4 '16 at 21:53
1

Aside from the more literal defintion of kindle, to ignite or set on fire, is a slightly figurative one, to stir up or excite.

In your examples, this becomes:

He found the right environment at the academy to kindle his interest in art.

1

I think that "interest" is not the thing that can be "promoted" or "advanced" by the environment. But, the environment can be a factor for a person persuading him to follow his or her interests. So, I think it is better to say:

to pursue his interest

or

to follow his interest

or

to focus on his interest

  • I think you are right. "Pursue" was the word I immediately thought of. Can you add a definition of pursue? If you do, send me a message and I will upvote. – ab2 MonicaNotForgotten Nov 4 '16 at 21:32

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