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Caricaturist coming to town via railway

“Laurel is one of the favourites because she’s a caricaturist … for 20 minutes of your time and five bucks, she does a really nice rendition of you on the spot,” said the mind behind Artists on Rails, Marianne Garrah. “She makes you look great, and it’s fast,” she said, adding that many caricaturists tend to focus on one aspect of a person and exaggerate it, making the subject of their art look less than appealing.

“People really enjoy just watching the process of caricatures,” Hawkswell said. “They have a few giggles.”

Hawkswell said that sometimes people get a bit nervous, knowing that she is staring at them, looking at every part of their face. “But they always walk away with a fun experience and a nice memento,” she added.

Having studied graphic design at Edmonton’s Grant MacEwan Community College, Hawkswell said that her creative strength is definitely in drawing. Even when she comes to Jasper, she said that her favourite thing to do is engage in her favourite past time.

“I really enjoyed sitting in the lobby just painting and talking to people all day,” she said of her time here last summer. 

Artists on Rails was conceived in 2005 as a way of honouring Alberta’s artistic talent and bringing it to the public in a creative way. Featured artists have ranged from musicians to painters, and are hired to entertain VIA Rail passengers as they travel to the Rockies. Once they’re here, they get to enjoy a bit of the town and share their talents with people out and about in Jasper.

“It’s a way to expose Alberta artists to the public,” Garrah said. 

“There are people on the train from all over the world, and it [Artists on Rails] really gives a great impression of Canada,” Hawkswell agreed.

Laurel Hawkswell will be rolling into town via VIA on August 23, and will spend that day and the following day doing caricatures at the Sawridge Inn and Conference Centre. 

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