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Young artist wins festival art competition

The Hogansville Hummingbird Festival committee has selected a LaGrange High School artist’s art work to represent this fall’s Hummingbird Festival. 

“I was very excited, and I didn’t even believe it was true when they told me,” said winner Leslie Purcell, an incoming freshman at LHS. “It still is really unbelievable that I won, and I am still so excited.” 

According to Mary Stewart, a member of the festival committee, there were 39 entries and a number of them came from Chris Hagebak’s art class, including Purcell’s submission. 

“My after-school teacher (Hageback) had us do this as an assignment, and then he turned them in for us,” Purcell said. “I knew that the possibility was there, but I didn’t think I would be chosen as the winner.” 

Purcell said she has been taking weekly art classes for the past two years at Hagebak’s art gallery, 809 Gallery on Hill Street.  

“The Hummingbird Festival Committee had so many great pieces to choose from,” said Stewart in a press release. “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.”

Purcell was inspired to create the hummingbird in her drawing and said she searched the internet for all the different types of hummingbirds, then went from there. 

“I originally was only going to draw one hummingbird in the picture, but I wanted to do another one to make it larger, then I added the background and made that look fuzzy,” Purcell said. 

Purcell hopes winning this competition will open many doors for her art in the future. 

“I hope to make this into my career one day and become an animator,” Purcell said. 

The original framed painting of Purcell’s winning art will hang in Hogansville City Hall next to the winners of previous festival artists.

Purcell’s winning art will be used in the designs for the festival shirt, poster and guidebook, according to the press release from the festival committee. 

The Hummingbird Festival will be held in the fall on Oct. 19 and 20 in downtown Hogansville.