Artistic Protege

Student artist Alger takes top honors
in Gallery 104 competition

She has already garnered
several other accolades

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

LA GRANGE, Ky. (May 2010) – When teenage artist Anna Alger decided to enter the “Animal Attraction” art exhibit contest sponsored by the Arts Association of Oldham County earlier this year, she immediately thought of horses. Because her family had always raised horses, this was the perfect subject matter for her to pursue.
Up against artists twice her age and older, Alger won in the multi-media juried art exhibit. Her 30x40-inch oil on canvas painting, “Clouds Over July,” depicts a summer scene of horses.

Anna Alger

Photo by Don Ward

Oldham County
teenager Anna Alger
won the recent Art
Association competition
with her painting
of horses.

She chose to paint her neighbors horses when “I saw them standing at the fence one day, and decided to paint them,” said Alger, 17. Her artwork will be displayed at Gallery 104 in La Grange until May 14.
Artwork submitted for “Animal Attraction” featured pets and favorite animal companions. Alger entered her painting because “I thought my piece fit the exhibit competition.” For Alger, “It’s great to have a local audience.”
“Animal Attraction” judge, J. Barry Motes, selected Alger’s work, saying, “I felt it was, overall, the best work in the show. It stood out as a beautiful, picturesque composition with vibrant color, controlled brush work and a romantic sensibility.”
Motes, Art Department Head for Jefferson Community & Technical College in Louisville, was the sole judge for this exhibit. “Judging is usually difficult for me because I try to fairly assess what each artist is trying to achieve in his or her work,” he said.
Motes based his judging criteria on factors such as technical ability, clarity of idea or theme, creativity, sense of humor and aesthetic strength.
Alger’s painting definitely caught his eye. The homeschooled student mainly works in oil, preferring its “ability to get different textures and details, and its great colors.”
Alger has taken art lessons at the Apple Tree Studio in Bedford, Ky., for the last 2 1/2 years. “I always wanted to learn oil painting.”
Her teacher at the studio, Vicki Eldridge, said that when Alger first came to her, she was capable of taking an advanced drawing class. “She is able to draw and to see works realistically,” Eldridge said.
The determined teen then worked independently for a time before trying her hand at oil painting. “When you try oil painting, usually drawing doesn’t hold the thrill it once did,” Eldridge said.
Alger stuck with oil painting and it has paid off. Eldridge helped her assemble a portfolio to help audition for the Governor’s Scholars for the Arts. “She wants to put her artwork out there,” said Eldridge.
The teen has entered other competitions, placing Best of Show in a teen exhibit in Trimble County, and placing Best of Show in an art competition for the Third Congressional District in Kentucky. Alger’s work even hangs in a corridor between the House of Representative and the Senate in Washington, D.C. Her mother often finds artistic opportunities for her to display her work.
“She’s extremely gifted and the most motivated student I’ve ever had,” Eldridge said. “The sky is the limit for her.”
Displaying an artistic wisdom far beyond her years, Alger said she definitely plans to pursue an art degree in college in the future but isn’t sure yet where she will attend college.
“The fact that Anna is a young artist is a tribute to her talent and her fine execution of this painting,” said Motes.

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