ArtPrize surprise for artist’s grandmother

"Story Time" by Katie Rellinger at Bar Divani. (Sept. 25, 2015)


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — One artist used her grandmother as her inspiration for her ArtPrize entry, and surprised her Friday by showing her the piece.

Katie Rellinger, 21, used pages out of an old book of her grandmother’s called “Magic Umbrella,” as the background to her drawing which is named “Story Time.” (VOTE NUMBER 61371)

“The book pages are something that she was reading when she was a little girl. It’s just a book that she had and it was just sitting around her house and she’s like you can have it and I asked her if it was okay if I took out the pages. She used to read the book all the time and I think she even read the stories to her children a little bit,” Rellinger told 24 Hour News 8.

On top of the pages are charcoal drawings of her grandmother, Dawn Najorka, and in each frame, she progresses in age.

“I portray her in three different images. The first one is her as a child. The second is her in her middle ages about 30 years old and then the last one is her at her age now, which is around 80. The first two were really hard because I didn’t even know her then,” said Rellinger.

Rellinger has a strong bond with her grandmother and decided to surprise her with the ArtPrize entry.

“Me and my grandma have a really close relationship. Everyone thinks it’s super special in my family. We are really close. She and I like talk to each other like once a week-ish, and even more than that though we’re like two and a half hours away. I was like well, what if I enter it into ArtPrize and she doesn’t even know about it and I surprise her with it and have her come here,” Rellinger said.

Najorka came to downtown Grand Rapids Friday with Rellinger’s aunt to see the piece, and she repeatedly thanked Rellinger for the drawing and the surprise.

“Wow, Katie is all I can think right now. Wow. I can’t get over it. I really can’t. It’s really something,” said Najorka.

Rellinger’s artwork is being featured at Bar Divani.

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