Lee Payne, Ashe Reference Librarian reports:
On Friday evening, Sept. 8, just before closing, about 35 people gathered upstairs in the Ashe County Public Library to admire the paintings done over the summer by students of the Florence Thomas Art School in West Jefferson, N.C.
Fourteen paintings by young artists who participated in the summer class will be on display in the library until the end of September.
Seven students from the class attended the reception, as did many parents, grandparents and siblings. Kathleen Janowiak, the executive director of the art school, and Susan Payne, the instructor for the summer course, were also in attendance.
Paige Roten, age 10, said her painting was of Lucy, the family’s Boston terrier / beagle mix. She said she enjoys painting and likes to draw people and animals. She also loves to read and especially likes mysteries. Andrew Clements is her favorite author.
Grace Zelesky, age 11, painted Dutch, a cockapoo, from memory, as he has passed away. Grace said she has been taking art classes for a couple years. She enjoys hanging out with her family and going to the library. She likes scary books and mysteries and is reading the Series of Unfortunate Event books, by Lemony Snicket.
Maggie Holmes, age 8, (whose grandmother is also an artist) has been making art since she could hold a crayon. Her painting is of Glory, a 13-year-old Australian shepherd, on the day they had to put the dog down. Maggie especially enjoys drawing horses.
Annalise Parsons, age 7, painted Jeff, the family’s beagle. She said she has been making art since she was about four. She says she likes making Christmas and Halloween themed art, and she also likes painting in the style of Picasso. She enjoys playing outside, swimming and going to school.
Claire Houck, age 9, painted their cat, Kiwi. She said he was a good sport about wearing the pink bow. She said she began painting with finger paints when she was two. She said her favorite painting she’s done is a water color of a monarch butterfly. She likes to paint nature and animals, and she enjoys sports – especially basketball – and playing with her grandmother’s kittens and puppy.
Autumn Barker, age 8, used stencils to guide her painting of flowers. She went to the art school last year, too. She enjoys painting and especially likes to paint dogs, cats and flowers. She also likes gymnastics, basketball, swimming and biking.
Airis Lewis, age 7, painted Belle, a 16-year-old Gordon setter, from a picture taken of her on a boat off the coast of South Carolina. This is why, in the painting, the dog’s hair is blowing in the wind.