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Three artists debut at YMCA fundraiser

Julia Propst1 / 3
Mary McAlpin2 / 3
Kevin Slaikeu3 / 3

Fiber artist Mary McAlpin, steampunk artist Kevin Slaikeu, and acrylic painter Julia Propst made their public debut at the YMCA art sale fundraiser. The three artists are new members of Artists of Woodbury.

"This was my first public sale and I'm so glad that I did it," Slaikeu said. "My art is pretty unusual and unique. It was great to hear so many positive comments."

Slaikeu started making art two years ago when he made a lamp for a friend and it turned out so great that he hasn't looked back. He retired in August and has now been devoting more time to making his steampunk creations. He is a self-taught artist.

"I like to make lamps that people have to look at and wonder how it works and how I came up with the idea,"Slaikeu said.

Propst has been drawing and painting since she was 6 years old. She is mostly self-taught and was an art major at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She advanced her artistic skills to a professional level through classes. Painting subjects that she has found beautiful or from experiences she has enjoyed, she puts a little bit of herself in every painting.

"Recently my paintings have a calming feel to them. Our everyday lives are so busy and stressful, and having a tranquil piece of art helps rectify that," Propst said. "It lets anyone escape from whatever is causing them stress."

McAlpin is a full-time nurse, mother of six children and grandmother of five. She started felting with a friend three years ago. She has also dabbled in painting and quilting. Working through the process and finishing a creation is "like a treasure hunt," McAlpin said. She finds happiness in creating felted art and participating in art shows. McAlpin enjoys meeting others who create or enjoy art which inspires her imagination to create new projects.

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