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McKenzie Park won multiple ribbons and Best in Show for painting 'My Elephant Friends'

COURTESY PHOTOS - McKenzie Park with her winning piece, My Elephant Friends.Lake Oswego Junior High sixth grader McKenzie Park recently won three blue ribbons and Best in Show for her oil painting "My Elephant Friends" at the Clackamas County Fair.

Park has been painting since she was around seven years old, but has loved art as long as she can remember.

About three years ago, Park started painting at Studio 84 Fine Art School, where she also won awards. Studio 84 is run by Kirsten Vollan and is based out of her garage. "I love my teacher," Park said of Vollan. "She's very loving and encouraging."

Park said she loves going to Studio 84 because of the space, as well. "Her studio is so cool. It's so peaceful," she said.

Vollan said she is proud of Park's accomplishments at Studio 84 and at the Clackamas County Fair. "She loves painting and is always on the lookout for her next subject," she said.

Park enjoys painting, especially with bright colors, for a variety of reasons. "It calms me, and I just love the feeling of all of the colors," she said. "It definitely fits my personality."

Her dream is to be an art major in college and become a professional artist. Park loves drawing animals and pictures from her family vacations, and has recently been exploring self portraiture. "I love self portraits," she said. "Going forward I'm probably going to be doing a lot of self portraits."

Park said that another reason she uses a lot of colors is to create a positive feelings in those that see her art. "I don't like to make people feel down," she said. "I like my art to make people happy, so I use colors."

That was Park's mindset when she created the award-winning painting "My Elephant Friends." "I really love elephants, and the painting makes me feel happy," she said. "Whenever people see it, I hope it makes them happy too."COURTESY PHOTO: STUDIO 84 - Park's painting, 'Bonjour Le Castellet'

This year was Park's first time entering the County Fair's art competition, and was surprised to win multiple awards for her piece. "I wasn't expecting much when I entered," she said. "It feels really good to win, and I'm hoping to enter again next year."

Park credits her win to Studio 84 and the great instruction she received there. "It's a really cool place. Anyone who likes painting should go there," she said. "It might seem hard at first, but the teacher makes you feel like you can do it."

For more information on Studio 84, visit www.studio84fineartschool.com/.


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