Alexis Pavan didn't use a single word to leave her mark on local history. Instead, her preferred method was the brush stroke.
At just 11 years old, Alexis is the youngest person in the history of the Port Moody Public Library to have a solo exhibit on display.
Running through February, Alexis's exhibit of 20 acrylic paintings features the 11-year-old's take on all things abstract and natural.
"I like to paint scenery because the world inspires me, and everything is so unique," she said. "I also like to paint abstract because I just love putting so many different colours together that make them pop."
The impetus behind Alexis's display came by way of a proud family member, who wanted to see the works of her niece - whom she described as "very shy" - come to the forefront in a way that could transcend the need for spoken words.
"She's been creating art since she was two years old," said Alexis's aunt Lora Levycky. "I noticed at that time she was already doing all kinds of drawings and paintings when she was younger. She just loves it. She's a natural-born artist."
A long-time patron of the library, Levycky approached city staff earlier this year to see if Alexis's paintings would fit into the library's programming.
As it turned out, they fit the bill.
"I say good on her," said Irene Jakse, the library's program and
services co-ordinator. "We're really big on promoting high self-esteem in children and literacy and those types of things - and we are the City of the Arts. Being that she is so shy, this seemed to be a really terrific opportunity to give a little bit of confidence to a new artist."
The library has been offering monthly exhibit space since 1995, and typically showcases the works of art students and club and group members. The only criterion for staging a month-long show is that the presenters be Tri-Cities based.
A Minnekhada Middle School student, Alexis had mixed feelings when hanging up her works with her dad earlier this month.
"[I was] pretty nervous and excited at the same time," she said. "I had to get it through my head that everybody would know me now."
"She's got an interesting little selection of stuff that she does," Jakse added. "She does a lot of the floral stuff, but she does seem to delve into nature as well: she's got tulips and pumpkins, forests, balloons, cats, fairy gardens."
As for the future of the budding artist, Alexis is quite particular about how she'd like to see her artistic career play out.
"One of my dreams is to be professional artist," she said.
"I don't really want to spend lots of time in art school though, because art teachers have their own perspective of art and I think you should be able to paint whatever you want."
The exhibit is on display at the library, at 100 Newport Dr., throughout February.
For library hours, visit http: // library.portmoody.ca.