Thursday, March 12, 2009

Museum Inspires Young Artist

After visiting the Florence Griswold Museum for the first time during the summer of 2004, five-year-old Stephen Mills sat down on the museum grounds with the materials his mother provided him and painted his first canvas. Two hours later he finished, arriving at a new and more advanced level of painting that surprised those who saw his work. Now 10 years old, Stephen has already received several awards and recognitions.

When Stephen was seven, his Mom took him to Giverny where he painted in Monet's garden. He wants to go back again one day and paint there again. He commented that being at the Florence Griswold Museum reminded him of Giverny.

Jane Mills, Stephen's mom, talks about a more recent visit to the Museum, " The photo of him at the Museum at age 9 last September shows him at a very happy moment. He had toured the museum and sat down to paint. The museum closed and he was yelling to nobody how happy he was and how he loved painting and loved being there. He said, 'I think I can feel Childe Hassam's spirit looking over my shoulder!' and he painted right until dark."

In 2005, at the age of six, Stephen received The Connecticut Renewal Team's National Arts Program Award. Stephen was the youngest person in Connecticut to ever receive this award. In October, 2006, Stephen signed his posters at Borders to help raise money for hurricane relief. His painting, Poinsettias, was chosen to be represented on holiday cards for the 2006 Children's Medical Center's Holiday fundraiser. Also in 2006, Stephen had a one-person art show at the Peterborough Art Academy and Gallery in Peterborough, NH.

Stephen's art was selected in an international contest in 2007 to appear on the cover of the book, It's All in Your Head, Around the World in 80 Lyme Patient Stories by PJ Langhoff. In 2008 he was featured on Viva Hartford during his Strokes of Genius 2 exhibit at Young Studios in Hartford.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great story!