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Local five-year-old artist to have work displayed at library

'The library is very big so lots of people get to see my art,' says Sir William Osler Public School student who won her first art competition at 19 months old

It didn’t take long for those around Gabrielle Tassé to figure out she has talent. The art loving five-year-old has been creating since she was a toddler and won her first all ages art competition at 19 months.

Gabrielle, a student at Sir William Osler Public School in Bradford, will now have her art shown at an installation at the Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library later this month.

“When Gabrielle noticed art being hung at her favourite hangout, the Bradford Library, she asked how to apply to be one of the featured artists,” says Alexa, Gabrielle’s mother. “She filled out an application and the library contacted her back to let her know they have chosen her art to be displayed.”

Having her art showcased at the library is a big deal for Gabrielle who is “100 per cent excited” about it.

“The library is very big so lots of people get to see my art,” she said. "The library is one of my favourite places and my art will be there now, too. Even my friends and people from school can go to see my art now too.”

Alexa says Gabrielle’s passion for art started at five months old when she took her to an artist friend’s house.

“We let Gabrielle smoosh paint onto a canvas and she really enjoyed herself so it became a regular activity for us,” says Alexa. “As she got a little older she started pointing to paints to pick the colours she was using and I started to give her brushes and pallet knives and other art devices to create.

"She always ended up making things that were quite beautiful so around 19 months old I entered her in an all ages call for artists on a whim as the ad came up on my Facebook and she actually won a spot to show her art. At that point I realized she was talented and I should foster her creativity," said the proud mom.

Despite being so young, Gabrielle knew right away she enjoyed painting and her passion for it has only gotten stronger as she’s gotten older.

"I paint all the time and I think about it so much and then I make what my idea is,” says Gabrielle. “I get to paint whatever I want. It's my own thing. I do it by myself so whatever I want to do I can do. Anything in my brain I can make.”

As a toddler, Gabrielle had a significant speech delay, and Alexa was thankful she had art to release her emotions and feelings.

“Art has become a positive outlet for Gabrielle and has helped her cope with large emotions,” says Alexa. “The painting 'Dexter' was made through tears after she learned about the passing of a family friend's dog and 'waves of emotion' was created at a time she was frustrated that we could not fully understand concepts she was trying to relay to us through speaking. She is now able to speak well but she continues to use art as a way to work out big feelings both positive and negative.”

Watching Gabrielle grow as an artist has been a treat for Alexa who says she’s gone from playing with paint to being methodical with her choices.  

"I remember getting overwhelmed once and saying, ‘what are you doing? You're using so much paint and so many colours.’ Thinking it would turn brown and muddy— because it likely would if I tried to paint — and she just tells me to trust her and the outcome always blows me away,” said Alexa.

“You can see a passion and a love for creating in her that is admirable. As I am not overwhelmingly artistic all I can do is encourage her and see how she develops on her own. I also enjoy how she now decides when a piece of work is done as she really enjoys returning to pieces and layering them. She's been working on making pieces have texture and depth lately," Alexa explained.

Gabrielle has developed a fan base with collectors all over North America and she has sold pieces everywhere from Ottawa to California.

“I’m incredibly proud of her achievements in the art world,” said Alexa. "From the first piece she created to seeing how her talent develops has been rewarding. When showing her art people always have positive things to say, and when they find out her age they are dumbfounded and excited.”

Having found so much success early on with art has been an incredible experience for Gabrielle, who hopes to continue selling art so she can buy any toy she wants.

“I feel happy that other people like my art and buy it and say nice things. I make what I like, but people like it too. Other famous artists sometimes give me their beautiful art,” she says.

“I want to be a famous artist and keep making whatever my brain says. Having my art at the library gives me attention. I don't know where I want my art next but I will keep looking for a good spot for attention again," she explained.

Seeing how much joy Gabrielle gets out of art has made it easy for Alexa to support her on her journey.

"I think it's important to nurture and support her passion because it evokes happiness in her and in others when they see her work,” Alexa explains. “Having a background in psychology I believe it is positive to have an outlet in life and I've seen this be one for her already. She genuinely loves to paint so we will continue to support her in any way we can as long as she finds it to be enjoyable.”

Checkout Gabrielle’s art here on Instagram.