Local Artist Shares Her Gift with Linden

by Mitzi Gates

Local 7-year-old artist, Keaton Grace Gunner, with Linden mayor Mitzi Gates under the sign she painted at the Linden Gazebo.

Keaton Grace Gunter, daughter of Dan and Joy Lee Gunter of Linden, is a young local artist whose work will soon be known statewide.  Her whimsical painting of a dancing plate won local honors in the Marengo Academy spring art competition, and it was also chosen in the statewide Farmers Federation art contest as one of the 12 paintings that will be featured in the Alfa Farmers Federation 2013 calendar.  The creative 7-year-old Miss Gunter, who was a first grader when she painted the winning work, says she does not yet know which month her dancing plate will represent in the calendar.

At the beginning of the summer, Keaton Grace attended Vacation Bible School at Thomaston Baptist Church, where her music teacher was Mayor Mitzi Gates.  When Gates learned about Keaton Grace’s artistic accomplishment, she asked the young Linden artist if she would consider painting a sign insert to enhance the downtown Gazebo Park.  Keaton Grace accepted the challenge and created a floral theme to represent the sign’s message: Linden celebrates summer.  The sign is Keaton Grace’s largest work to date, and she is looking forward to designing and painting other seasonal signs to be displayed at the gazebo throughout the year.  According to Keaton Grace, “The best thing about painting a sign for the gazebo is that I get to let everyone see my artwork when they come through town.”

Keaton Grace also said that she thought a lot of students in Linden who enjoy to painting and drawing would probably like to paint big pictures to put downtown for everybody to enjoy.  Gates said that Keaton Grace’s enthusiasm for sharing her own artwork and her realization that many other talented Linden student artists would have that same enthusiasm has actually sparked an idea for a Linden Youth Advisor project that she looks forward to working with the YAs on when school starts.

Keaton Grace’s artistic talent, according to her mother, is a natural ability she inherited from her grandfather and her father, for both of whom artistic talent has always been a natural gift.  Keaton Grace, her mother reports, has been drawing since she was able to grasp a crayon.  She spends a great deal of time painting and drawing for pleasure.

Keaton Grace has a twin brother, Addison Gunter, who –  like his grandfather, father, and twin sister –  is also very artistically talented. Addison placed in the school art contest with a best in show painting.

The 7-year-old Gunter twin brother and sister are looking forward to becoming second graders this month, and they both have plans to continue entering art contests and just painting and drawing for fun as often as possible.