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Gabrielle “Gabe” Smith is an eighth grader at Maine Virtual Academy (MEVA) who has a unique artistic hobby – she is a master face and body painter!

Gabe’s MEVA art teacher, Alicia Uth, is actively supportive of her talents.

“Gabe is an extraordinary student that has truly taken advantage of the choice-based, hands-on projects in our virtual art room,” Ms. Uth said. “She has shown relentless dedication throughout the year to strengthen her skills and challenge herself with each project, and the results are incredible.”

Ms. Uth’s support and encouragement has motivated Gabe this year and made her feel great about her creations.

“She is awesome!” Gabe said. “She supports and encourages all art. She encourages you to work in your own style and lets you know that failing is okay because it shows you are trying to better your art by working outside your comfort zone.”

Gabe got into face and body painting for an art project last fall, and now she is “hooked” thanks to Ms. Uth.  She is currently practicing in all styles and using airbrush.

“I have tried my best to inspire the students, encourage design thinking, teach the necessary skills, and simply get out of the way,” Ms. Uth said. “These students are unstoppable when they are in control of their learning. Gabe is a great example of that.”

Gabe enrolled at MEVA last fall for the 2016-17 school year. She had been homeschooled her entire life prior to MEVA and she was looking for a change. MEVA was her answer!

“I am pleased with the online curriculum,” said Gabe’s mother, Kelly Smith. “Gabe finds most subjects and topics interesting and has definitely learned a lot this school year.”

Gabe has always been artistically talented, a gift which her mother says she inherited from her father, who likes to paint, sketch and sculpt in his free time.  He also made a marionette puppet years ago that still hangs in their house.

“Gabe has been an inspiration to me as an artist and teacher, and has continuously inspired her peers to push themselves to think outside the box and try new things without fear of making a mistake, or not getting a good grade,” Ms. Uth said.

“I just hope that people enjoy them as much as I do,” Gabe said. “It’s all self-taught except for the occasional YouTube video to learn new ways to use my paint.”

Gabe hopes to turn her body/face painting into a career and learn how to paint on canvas to sell her creations.

“Face and body painting has really defined Gabe as an artist,” Kelly said. “She loves creating new masterpieces, and her dad and I love to watch her create and see how much happiness this form of art brings her.  We are very hopeful that she will have a career in this field one day.”

Check out some of Gabe’s work on her website.

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