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Young artists display talents: Elkins’ painting earns top prize, gets faulty sink repaired

May 4, 2019

BULLHEAD CITY — Ernest Elkins was given lemons, so he turned them into the scariest lemonade ever seen.

Elkins’ acrylic painting, “Fix the Sink,” captured the top prize at last week’s Tri-State High School Art Show.

The work depicts a green-and-blue monster emerging from a spigot.

Elkins said it was inspired by the sink in the art room at River Valley High School, which was in disrepair and not attended to by school maintenance staff.

He said he decided to tackle the subject in an assignment on surreal art. He worked on it for about 12 hours over a few weeks.

“I (planned) to hang it above the sink,” Elkins said.

He was among dozens of artists from RVHS, Mohave, Laughlin and Needles high schools and Mohave Accelerated Learning Center whose work was on display at Mohave Community College.

The River Valley Artists Guild and the MCC Art Club honored the top three works from each school and named a few honorable mentions as well.

MHS sophomore Taryn Twamley received the People’s Choice award, voted on by those attending a reception Friday evening.

Her work, “Timothee,” was a pastel of Franco-American actor Timothée Chalamet.

She said she was really caught off guard, as she didn’t expect to win a prize.

“I love it a lot,” Twamley said. “But a lot of these (other works) are amazing. I was just very surprised.”

MCC arts and humanities instructor Jacob Crawford said he was impressed by the variety of art the students presented, as well as by its quality.

“The imaginative aspect of the art is just amazing,” Crawford said.

The show’s 18th year marked the first time NHS participated. Its entries included T-shirts some students had designed for the local Elks Lodge.

Instructor Stacey Martinez said the students’ work is more impressive when one realizes that this is their first year working in digital media.

Each top prize winner received a gift bag containing art supplies.

“Fix the Sink” netted Elkins a free student membership in the artists guild, but it already had generated another positive result before the show opened.

“I put it up, and the sink got fixed a week later,” he said.