For 12-year-old Ashley Dreyfus, art is a love affair with permanent Bic markers in all colors and canvas boards. Dreyfus has created more than 100 pieces of art, which she prepared for her debut solo show at The Coffee Grinder in Ketchum on Wednesday, April 14.
"Whenever I walk around, I see stuff, take it home and envision the way I want to do it," Ashley said. "I draw stories and use found objects."
A Wood River Middle School sixth-grader, Ashley has been hard at work creating and inventing art. Her bright, imaginative and happy drawings are comic, heartwarming and funny. Dreyfus has her own style that incorporates fairies, cats and mice with titles such as "Robot Rage," "Surf's Up," "Coffee Crisis" and "Land of Lipstick."
"She would bring projects home and re-create and redo them her way," said Susan Dreyfus-Bates, Ashley's mother and inspiration. "It looks like Pee Wee Herman's Playhouse at our house. We have a back room filled with boxes of beads, goggle eyes, fabric, thread and many inspiring art materials."
From the barrette in her hair to the adjustments she made to the dress she wore for her opening, Ashley's creativity is always front and center. Her mother said she has been drawing since kindergarten. Ashley is also a Footlight dancer, a competitive 5B Swim Team member and prefers drawing to painting.
"I think swimming and art are connected," Ashley said with a laugh. "I love cats, but I don't like to paint because I can't do it over."
Nicola Potts, owner of The Coffee Grinder and the art show host, has been giving young artists opportunities for exhibitions to boost self-esteem and help young boys and girls with positive role models.
"The transformation in the kids and sense of accomplishments participating in the community has illuminated me to how role modeling works," Potts said. "Other kids are inspired and talk about the art process and how things are created. It's awesome and an inspiration to see all kids become inspired, and it encourages a sense of self-confidence."
Ashley's show will remain on exhibition with works for sale through the month of April. Twenty percent of the proceeds will benefit the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley.
Sabina Dana Plasse: email@example.com