Young West Fargo artist captures character of the great-grandfather she never met in an oil painting

The picture you see here is one of her oil paintings. It was sent to “neighbors” by Char Feldman, Fargo, who told them about it.

“Gracie saw a picture of my maternal grandfather, Peter Volk.” Char writes. “” He wore his denim overalls and worked in his rugby, ND shoe store

“Gracie never knew this great grandfather of hers when he died before she was born. However, she was fascinated by the picture. She decided to paint it for a school competition.

“She won a Gold Key Award for it and now it is being sent to a national competition.

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The youngest graduate of West Fargo High School, Gracie Erickstad, made this oil painting based on a photo of her late great-grandfather.  Especially for the forum

The youngest graduate of West Fargo High School, Gracie Erickstad, made this oil painting based on a photo of her late great-grandfather. Especially for the forum

“I’m Grandpa Pete’s oldest grandchild, so I knew him well.

Char continues, “Gracie captures his portrait and puts it on canvas. It is unique in many ways:

“She never met him, but a small photo attracted him and his character.

“She captured his resemblance as well as if he was looking at me when I look at the painting.

“He was a self-taught shoemaker who started his business after selling his farm and moving to town.

“I have countless memories of going into Pete’s shoe shop, smelling the smell of leather and glue, and wondering how he can fix tarpaulins for the farmers, as well as shoes, purses, and so on.

“The shoe store still exists in Rugby, but was bought by the nearby Niewoehner Funeral Home and integrated into the Funeral Home.

“I think this painting of his is a testament to the artisans who were our ancestors, who learned a craft and made a living out of it,” concludes Char.

If you have an article of interest in this column, send it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107, fax it to 701-241-5487, or email it to [email protected] .

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