Meet ‘Wanda’ artist Grace Keller

WILTON – Grace Keller, a 13-year-old eighth grade student at WLC Middle School, has, she said, “been drawing most of my life, but not seriously until about third grade.”

She is the creator of “Wanda,” the subject of a contest launching the town’s new website. A drawing of Wanda has been photoshopped into ten pictures on the website and visitors are asked to find her.

Wanda will be found with her dog “Winnie,” and props appropriate to the site she is visiting – a flag, a walking stick, a book.

Doing Wanda was fun, she said, “but if I was doing something for a literal contest. I’d do something more practical.”

She is mostly self-taught, she said. In school she learned the basics of technique, and then went her own way. “You have to inspired by somebody whose work you really like and then build on that and do your own thing.”

Drawing, and other art work, is just one of Grace’s many interest. She sings with the school chorus and is part of the select choir. She plays the saxophone in the school honor band and the guitar at home.

“I wanted to play the clarinet,” she said, “but they had too many clarinetists. I really like the saxophone.”

Music is part of her world, she said, and she listens while drawing or studying. “To whatever I’m in the mood for, 50s and 60s, mostly.”

Acting is her current love. She has been an “Andy’s Kid,” connected with Andy’s Summer Playhouse, for the past five years.

“I’ve been in the musical every year, and when I’m not performing, I’m doing something backstage. I just want to be there. I helped build shelves. I pretty much spend my whole summer there.”

That is easy for her since she has lived just down the street for the past seven years. She previously lived in Milford.

In the winter she skis, she said, her only sport.

She has also tried her hand at writing short stories. “I just love Stephen King.”

She has begun thinking about college, she said, doing things “that will look good on my resume.” She added, “I put all my time and my passion into whatever I’m doing.”

She doesn’t yet know what avenue she will follow, but it will be “something in the arts.”

Her advice to other young artists is “just do your own thing. I do a lot of doodling,” and she does much of her work electronically, on a tablet. “It’s easier, but I do some traditionally.”

Drawing “Wanda” was fun, she said. “They had a basis as to what they wanted, and I went from that.”

So happy hunting for her.