Daily News photo/JOHN EBY Frank Kelly, 4, of Cassopolis, a preschooler at Justus Gage Elementary School in Dowagiac, stands beneath his grand champion abstract acrylic painting Thursday at the Cass County Fair. He was anxious to go play Legos.

Archived Story

Preschool Picasso named grand champion

Published 10:04pm Thursday, August 2, 2012

CASSOPOLIS — Art critics might say Frank Kelly won grand champion acrylic painting at the 161st Cass County Fair with an abstract, but that misses the point.

What Frank created most people would call finger painting.

After all, he’s 4, but only since April.

The Cassopolis kid who shot to the top of the open class attends preschool at Justus Gage Elementary School. He’s not even old enough to be a Cloverbud.

At first glance, however, you wouldn’t believe the complex color scheme could be the work of someone so young.

Frank’s sister, Hazel, 6, won a red ribbon.

They are the children of Ileane and Drew Kelly. “All the kids paint things for their rooms,” their mom said.

“He used a brush at first, then his fingers, and so many different colors. There was a mess. I’m artistic and so is my dad. It runs in the family.”

Away from his easel, Frank’s “a master of disaster,” Ileane said, “a really active boy” who’s anxious to disappear to the Lego area.

“He was proud when he saw the ribbon,” added his grandmother, Teresa Slaski. “I never dreamed he would be grand champion.”

  • Patt

    You should have also included a picture of his painting…

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