Bethlehem Elementary School, 2nd Grade
Elyza Bruce is fascinated with all things animal and finds peace and harmony in painting them. With her chosen medium of oils and acrylics, seven-year-old Bruce has painted a great number of animals and natural landscapes that adorn the walls of her family home in Woodbury.
But unlike most of her second grade peers, Bruce starred in her very own art show where her animal renderings were featured along with some well-known New England artisans at the Vermont-based Champlain Collection.
Wanting to use some of her daughter’s creations on cards for family members, Ellie Bruce, Elyza’s mother, contacted the Vermont art dealer for the job.
The art dealer found a great talent in the young artist and contacted the Bruce family to see if they could license and show Elyza’s work. Her paintings are now available for purchase or as greeting cards, posters and a select number of images as limited canvas giclee prints.
“When people are told the artist is only seven-years-old they are quite amazed at her work,” said Norm Choiniere of The Champlain Collection. “She truly has a great career ahead of her as an artist.”
Even her art teacher, Dianne Parmelee, educator at Flanders Nature Center finds her student’s genuine love for art something exceptional in such a young artist.
“Watching her paint is a joy,” Parmelee said. “Even at this young age she understands concepts of creating visual art naturally. Painting animals is her favorite subject matter and she has created some amazing works of art.”
In addition to her love of painting, Bruce is hungry for knowledge about animals and nature and puts the two together very often.
“She reads animal encyclopedias and talks about becoming a veterinarian or some other profession where she could help animals,” her mother adds. “She is a little powerhouse, an absolute sponge for knowledge.”
Bruce said that while she loves painting, her real love is animals and her intent is to use any proceeds from sales of her works to aid in the rescue of endangered animals.
“Pandas are my favorite animal and I learned a lot of about them when I went to the zoo in Washington DC,” she says. “I would like to help the Pandas in China if I could.”
As a student at Bethlehem Elementary School, Bruce is one of ten second graders who participate in the Odyssey of the Mind, an international organization that encourages creative problem-solving.
“Elyza will be our star performer this year in a group-created performance called “The Moneymaker”,” says Arlene Campbell, BES second grade teacher and Odyssey adviser. “Although the topic of the performance is initiated by the Odyssey organization, the performance, props, costumes and script are 100% created by the children.”
The children will go to Bristol later in the spring for this event. Campbell praises Bruce in her part of the group.
“She is energetic, creative, outgoing and intuitive about her part in the show,” she says.
Michelle Tscheppe, Bruce’s teacher applauds her performance in the classroom. “She goes above and beyond with all of her schoolwork and she is a great friend,” Tscheppe says, adding that she often lends a helping hand to any fellow student that is struggling without any prompting from an adult. “She embraces every little thing we do and willingly and naturally kicks it up a notch!”
Bruce says she is happiest when she is learning. “I like to go to school, play outside and read a lot.”
To see Elyza’s work, visit www.champlaincollection.com
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