Young Dalton painter sells out debut exhibition

Young Dalton painter sells out debut exhibition

May 23rd, 2011 by Casey Phillips in Life Entertainment


• Age: 10.

• School: Brookwood Elementary School in Dalton.

• Favorite subject: Reading.

• Least favorite subject: Language arts.

• Favorite artists: Pablo Picasso and Edgar Degas.

• Favorite book series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan, the DoppleGanger Chronicles by G.P. Taylor.

• Hobbies: Horseback riding, running, Girl Scouts.


On May 6, Sadie Cowan had more than 40 pieces of her artwork put on display at Kellie Smith Design Studio in Dalton, Ga., as part of the First Friday Gallery Hop. All but four pieces of the 37 available for sale were sold. She is also active in the Girl Scouts.


Do you know a child age 13 or younger with a precocious talent in academics, athletics or the arts? To nominate a child as a possible subject of a future feature article, e-mail staff writer Casey Phillips at or call him at 423-757-6205.

When most kids look at a shoe, they see only a shoe. When Sadie Cowan looks at a shoe, she sees possibilities.

A rain boot, red high heel, ballet slipper and other footwear Sadie, 10, saw in a book of illustrations inspired one of 42 pieces she had on display in a May 6 art exhibition in Dalton, Ga.

Reinterpreting the everyday in an abstract way has been the foundation of most of Sadie's artwork since she began painting at age 3.

"I like the fact that you can express your feelings and thoughts through art and tell your audience what kind of artist you are," she said. "I like to express things I like and important events. I like to relate my art to real-life things."

Although Sadie has a fondness for mixed media, she said she primarily works with acrylic paint on a variety of materials, from canvas to cardboard.

"I don't know what I like so much about painting," she said. "I like how the color almost splashes on the page."

Sadie also creates crafts out of recycled materials, such as bowls made from melted vinyl records and jewelry made from bottle caps.

Sadie's art instructor, Ashley Kinnamon, invited her to take part in the exhibit as part of the First Friday Gallery Hop organized by the Creative Arts Guild.

Since she began working with Sadie last year, Kinnamon said, she has been impressed by her ability to express herself, often humorously, through her work.

For someone so young, Sadie's approach is highly developed, Kinnamon said.

"She's got a very illustrative style. She's got some really great things going on with her style," Kinnamon said. "Sadie has a lot of self-confidence. One of the things I try and get her to pay attention to is to do art that represents herself. She's really grasped onto her identity at such a young age."

During the three-hour exhibition, scores of people worked their way through Kellie Smith Design Studio looking at paintings the Cowan family had assembled over the last seven years. Of the 37 artworks available for sale during the exhibition, 33 have been sold.

Sadie said she was honored just being asked to participate, and she was astonished at the outpouring of interest in her pieces.

"I was proud, nervous and excited," Sadie said. "I think just having art on the walls was worth it. I didn't think it would ever happen."

Sadie's mother, Julie Cowan, said her daughter has been drawn to express herself artistically as long as she can remember.

Painting provides her a powerful and important outlet, Cowan said.

"She's never had a problem expressing herself, but this gives her a different way to express herself," she said. "What she chooses to put on a canvas or a piece of paper sometimes surprises me in a good way."