STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON
The night before she was scheduled to speak to the media about art, Elena Compton had dinner at her grandparents’ house.
After dinner, while grandma and her mother cleaned up, Elena plunked herself down crosslegged on the couch, her sketch pad and coloured pencils in hand.
By the time the women were done and it was time to head home, Elena had created a snowy owl in such striking detail one looking at might believe the bird was staring right back.
The 12-year-old doesn’t remember exactly what the jury said about her submission to last year’s Kamloops Arts Council Juried Art Show and Sale — but she knows she went home with a smile on her face.
She’s in the event again this year, the youngest of the 65 area artists who will show their work at the Old Courthouse Cultural Centre from Feb. 16 to Feb. 24.
Elena discovered art when she was two, she said, and it’s been her passion ever since.
She’s studied with local artist Joey Nash, entered some of her works in other art shows in Kamloops, taken classes at Thompson Rivers University — and given classes at her school, Arthur Stevenson elementary, for other students in grades six and seven.
“I love eyes,” she said while showing some of her work. “There are so many things you can do with them. So many colours, the reflections, I just love them.”
The snowy owl came after some prolonged nagging from her dad, who had liked one she had done earlier on black paper.
The quality of the paper led to the work fading “and my dad kept saying ‘Do a snowy owl. You have to do another one’,” Elena said.
Her work is hung throughout the house — and has also inspired her to use it as the base for a book she’s been working on for about a year.
Kaza Wolfe is the story of a young girl who discovers she is part wolf.
She meets others like her.
The story’s not done yet, Elena said, but much of the artwork for it is started.
Art is her career goal, although she is interested in the animation side of art and hopes to study it in university.
This is the third year the arts council has had an open show and sale.
Glen Mantie, himself an artist and participant in the event, said it’s open to any amateur artist, providing them with an opportunity they might not otherwise have to show and perhaps sell their works — and get feedback from professional artists.
The jury this year includes Alan Brandoli of the visual-arts department at Thompson Rivers University, Craig Willms, assistant curator at the Kamloops Art Gallery, and Tricia Sellmer, a local artist and curator.
The show is open at the centre from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Prizes will be awarded on the opening night, Friday, Feb. 15.
First prize is $300, second is $200 and third is $100.
There is also a $100 prize for the People’s Choice Award.