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Sunday 19 May 2019
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Emma’s Starry Night

Emma Henderson stands next to her replica of Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night.
Emma Henderson stands next to her replica of Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

RHIANNA MC KENZIE

Emma Henderson has always had a taste for the arts. The six-year-old hosted her first art exhibit two weeks ago at her home for her family, friends, and neighbours. The Little Artist display, complete with punch and cookies, was held in the lobby of her West Hills apartment complex, Petit Valley on April 28. Emails were sent out to neighbours to attend and support, and all of her paintings were sold out in no time, giving the aspiring artist a well-deserved boost of confidence.

One of the first pieces that she did was Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night, which she painted over and over again until she got it just right. “I like the colours,” Emma told Newsday Kids about painting. Her favourite colour is pink and she said she her artistic side was influenced by her mother’s opera collection and practising ballet at the Bentley Potter School of Dance, where she has been dancing since she was four. Like many shy children, art became a way for Emma to express herself, her mother, Sabrina Ho, said. From an early age, her mother would show her paintings from iconic artists and Emma gravitated to the work of the famous Dutch painter. Emma’s great grandparents are also Dutch. "She would layer the colours on top of each other, but somehow blend them into something beautiful rather than just making a mess. I’ve tried to do it…but it does not look the same. I don’t have the gift,” her mother said with a laugh.

Emma Henderson shows off her The Little Artist collection.

Emma's desire to exhibit her work stemmed from visits to art galleries with her mother. After much practise, the Arbor Pre School and Early Primary School student decided that she too wanted to exhibit her work like the artists she so admires. Her mother tried to find an art gallery that was willing to exhibit the work of the six-year-old but could not find one. Not wanting to disappoint her daughter, she decided that they would host their own exhibit. The pieces included recent work done just for the exhibit as well as pieces from when she just started at the age of four, all of which were framed for the display.

In as much as Emma loves the arts, though, she says she wants to be a chef when she grows up. She also practices taekwondo, following in the footsteps of her father, as her mother believes it is important for young girls to know how to defend themselves.

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