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Artist to display her paintings at LCT's 'A Tuna Christmas'

Local artist Shailah Red Elk is living a dream she never knew she had less than four years ago.

When the the Cameron University psychology graduate gave birth to her daughter four years ago, it changed every aspect of her life  including her career path. Red Elk spent the first six months at home taking care of her daughter. It was during this time that she developed a budding interest in the arts. Red Elk said she just started painting whatever she could find around her home. She then started looking for stuff that she could paint  even trash.

"I'm not kidding you when I say I was painting stuff that literally came out of dumpsters," she said. "It's kind of weird how it just evolved like that."

Not initially interested in the idea of profiting off her work, Red Elk started posting some of her pieces to her social media profiles on Facebook and Instagram. The resounding positive response took her by surprise.

"I was just posting some of this stuff to share and I had people flooding me with messages asking for requests and to see if they could buy some of my work," she said. "I couldn't believe that there were people interested in my work. It just really blew up."

The once-pscyhology-bound Red Elk was on the verge of becoming a full-time artist. She said it's hard to describe her art because it's so random and scattered. She paints and restores furniture and other objects, in addition to paintings and other displays. She uses everything from Sharpies to spray paint, acrylics and oils. Each piece commands its own inspiration and materials.

"It's so hard to describe my inspirations and my work because it just comes to me at times," Red Elk said. 

The new artist followed in the footsteps of her parents  who opened their own local restaurant  by opening her own business, where she sells eclectic clothes and art. She recently opened a new gallery to feature unique art from other artists. But her newest success could be her most unique stepping stone yet. Visitors will have a chance to see Red Elk's art on display as the featured artist at the Lawton Community Theater during the run of "A Tuna Christmas," which runs through Dec. 10. 

The Lawton Constitution

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