Andrea and the Masked Man
Andrea Grantham poses with her prize-winning watercolor, "The Masked Man."

HOHENFELS, Germany -- After traveling around the United States on display for a whole year, Andrea Grantham's award winning painting, "The Masked Man," has returned to Hohenfels.

The painting earned top honors in the 2010 Boys and Girls Club of America Fine Arts exhibit, a worldwide program with 1,100 clubs competing in four age groups and 10 mediums, including sculpture, watercolor, and collage.

"(Grantham) was chosen over all mediums, from U.S., Europe and Asia, for her age group," said Rena Mesch, who coordinated the competition for the Hohenfels club.

The competition began with a local fine arts exhibit and contest here at Hohenfels.

"We gather art all year and do a local show," said Mesch. "The finalist from here, we send to Europe … and if they win Europe, they're sent to the finals in the states."

The top artists from each age group won a trip to San Antonio where they toured the facilities at James Avery Jewelry and spent a day meeting with the artisans who design and craft the jewelry. In addition, their artwork was exhibited at the BGCA National conference before touring the U.S. at various events.

"It was incredible getting these kids together and seeing how devoted they are to their art, because you just don't see that kind of dedication in most kids," said Mesch.

The youngest of three daughters, 15-year-old Grantham claims that artistic talent runs in her family. Her oldest sister, Alissa attends the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, while senior Ashlyn will be heading to the same school next year.

"My sisters probably influenced me the most," admits Grantham. "My parents always told me that when I was little, I would just sit and stare at their coloring books or drawings that they did. When I grew older, maybe I tried to make art something for me, too."

Though Grantham said when she compares her art to her sisters she feels her work falls short, both her siblings also competed in the contest that Grantham won.

"I'm an abstract artist," said Grantham, whose favorite medium is chalk pastels. "I guess it's actually a skill, and you need 'something' to be able to make abstract art look good. Even my oldest sister was like, you can do something that I can't do."

Grantham explained that abstract art often reflects the emotions of the artist.

"Usually, the art that I do you can tell I did it when I wasn't feeling that great, and I needed to get stuff out of my mind," she said. "By doing abstract, it makes me feel better, especially when I'm finished. I just look at it, and I'm like, whew, I feel great now."

She said her winning work, "The Masked Man," came about simply because she likes the color blue.

"The complimentary color for blue is orange, so I just mixed up the colors, so that in some places it would be brown, and other places blue, and other places orange."

Grantham's unsure if she will pursue a career as an artist, but she said she would definitely enter her work in more contests. She said her victory has increased her confidence in her own work.

"Usually, I just always thought this going to be my art, I'm keeping it for myself and my family," she said. "But (winning) makes me feel great, because my art was actually exhibited and shown as something important."

Page last updated Wed January 18th, 2012 at 07:43