The Hogansville Hummingbird Festival committee has selected the artwork to represent this fall’s Hummingbird Festival. Leslie Purcell’s whimsical painting of two colorful hummingbirds on a lush green background was the winning entry in a crowded field of applicants.
“We were thrilled to have 39 entries this year,” said Mary Stewart of the Festival committee. “A number of entries came from Chris Hagebak’s art classes.”
Leslie has been taking weekly art classes for the past two years at Hagebak’s 809 Gallery of Art in LaGrange. One of their class assignments this spring was to submit a painting for the Hummingbird Festival competition. Each of the five students in Leslie’s class submitted a painting, as did many
other students in Hagebak’s other classes.
“Each week we do something different,” said Leslie. “In one class we painted animal fur using watercolor. In another class we painted mountains using a palette knife and acrylic paint. I like that we learn something new every week. It’s a lot of fun.”
In addition to painting techniques, Hagebak includes a variety of art topics in his classes, including drawing, working with clay, even art history. He is an accomplished artist himself, and his works adorn the walls of the gallery, which doubles as an art studio and classroom.
Leslie will be a freshman at LaGrange High School this fall. Her older sister, who is a writer, inspired Leslie’s interest in art three years ago. Animation and cartoon art caught Leslie’s fancy, and her hummingbird painting reflects that style.
Leslie plans to keep developing her style and learning new techniques, and she hopes to make art her career, possibly in graphic design. She’d like to attend Laguna College of Art and Design in California after she finishes high school. One of her sister’s friends went there, and Leslie thinks that going to college out of state will be exciting.
“The Hummingbird Festival committee had so many great pieces to choose from,” said Stewart. “It was a difficult decision, and we’re grateful to everyone who participated. We all thought Leslie’s hummingbirds showed a lot of character. Their eyes are very expressive.”
Leslie Purcell’s original framed painting will hang in Hogansville’s City Hall along with the works of previous Festival artists. As in past years, this year’s art will be used in the designs for the Festival T-shirt, poster, and guidebook. Those designs will be revealed in the coming weeks, and 2019 Festival T-shirts will be available for sale in the early fall. The Hummingbird Festival will be held this year on October 19 and 20 in downtown Hogansville.