Artist Spotlight for September, Elaine Bankston
The artist will be offering quick charcoal sketches of children ages 6 to 12 during her art opening on Saturday, September 10th from 1-4 pm.
Profiles for $25 and full face for $50. Payment will be made directly to the artist. She accepts exact cash, or check. This special price is just for this day. You can view Elaine’s work at the Art Factory through September.
Get to know more about Elaine -
I feel I have had a very interesting career as both an artist and flight attendant. I was born with a pencil in one hand and a crayon in the other! I remember sitting in first grade drawing pictures of pretty ladies and I also remember sitting in my wooden box with shingles tacked on for my wings dreaming of far away places.
My parochial school did not have Art classes but always asked me to do the art. Then in 1968 my dream to become a F/A became true when I was hired with Eastern Airlines. My first pleasure trip out of the country this little farm girl from Missouri went Around the World! EAL afforded me the opportunity to visit famous museums around the world and standing in front of the Mona Lisa, I was determined and finally at 27, I began studying art under some private instructors in ATL and NYC. Some were the best know portrait artists in the country. I was a flight attendant for 22 years and I meet many famous people. When Jimmy Carter was Governor of GA and campaigning for President, I had the opportunity to sit down beside him and have a conversation. I also remember meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel. Shortly thereafter I did a painting of the old Atlanta airport which won numerous ribbons. I was honored to present one of these prints to Frank Borman, Apollo 8 astronaut who orbited the moon and President of EAL. Prints are in many public and private collections including the Jimmy Carter Museum and 9 museums. Eastern Airlines asked me to do publicity, sending me to greet celebrities at many events including the Grand Opening of Disney World, modeling uniforms, and representing EAL at all their sponsored Golf Tournaments. After EAL went out of business I flew with USAir for only 9 months and on 9/11 was in the air over NY. But that’s another whole story! I was a flight attendant for a private jet company Millionaire for 5 years after that. On one of those flights, I served Mikhail Gorbachev a high-ranking Russian politician.
I have painted over 1,000 commissioned portraits some of notable doctors and judges. But I think your readers would be most interested in the oil portrait of Oliver W Hill, Sr. He was one of the lead attorneys in Brown vs the Board of Education. He sat live for me and I was honored to go to his 100th Birthday party. I have done four portraits of Oliver Hill. The first was commissioned by the Law Library at UR (currently on loan to the Governor’s Mansion) and the other in the Courthouse bearing his name in Richmond, another in the Roanoke Justice Center renamed in his honor and recently installed in the Virginia Museum of History and Culture. This landmark case is celebrating its 65th year
anniversary and Mr. Hill celebrated his 100th birthday on May 1st, 2007 and there was a grand event at the Marriott with many VIPs in attendance.
I have won numerous ribbons but the one ribbon I like the most was a “Gusty Award” because I displayed many different styles, mediums and subject matter.
I have taught in both public and private school, Art Intuitions, but one of classes I enjoy most is where I volunteer at the Pocahontas Women’s Prison. Now I also teach Art on Cruise ships Around the World which brings my countries visited up to the count of 60. I thank God for the talent He has given me and all the blessings He has bestowed on me.