Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Manitoba teen's painting opens window to art world

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Dominion City-area teen Georgia Burns wasn't entirely happy with the artwork she created for a nationwide contest, but she sent it in anyway.

Now Burns is in Toronto as a finalist at Sunday's Windows to the World art competition.

"I almost didn't enter it," the 16-year-old Burns -- a Grade 10 student at Roseau Valley School -- said before she and her mom, Ellen, flew to Toronto on Friday.

"I didn't think it was good enough. So when I heard I was one of 177 winners, I was really surprised."

Now, if her work, which depicts a flying butterfly at night, is chosen as one of the top 25, it will hang in the new Children's Respiratory Unit in the Herzog Hospital in Israel.

And even if it isn't, as a finalist, it will still be hung in a nursing home, shelter or institution somewhere in Canada.

The contest was organized by the Canadian Friends of Herzog Hospital and the Woodbridge Art School and Gallery.

More than 13,000 children between five and 19 sent in paintings or drawings on the themes a magical moment, a beautiful place or a dazzling dream.

Burns said she painted the butterfly flying above a lake under a tree thinking about where it might be hung.

"The butterfly is in it because it is something free and calming. I thought that would be good to be in a children's hospital. I used calming and relaxing colours in it."

Burns' mom said her daughter has been interested in art for years.

"We're so proud of her," she said.

The mother thanked the community and area businesses for providing the financial support to make it possible for the pair to go to the awards ceremony.

"It was quite overwhelming."

Lorne Saltzman, executive director of the Canadian Friends of Herzog Hospital, said he doesn't know if Burns will be one of the 25, but being "177 out of 13,000 is quite remarkable.

"In our opinion, everyone is a winner. And we are sending 25 pieces of art back with Georgia so they can be put in nursing homes and hospitals in Manitoba."

Jason Mateychuk, principal at Burns' school, said he's proud of the teen.

"It's fantastic," Mateychuk said.

"It's great to see the focus and passion there."

kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 26, 2013 B2

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