If you happened to pass by the intersection of 16th and Hancock streets on Thursday afternoon, you may have caught a glimpse of Fremont’s next up-and-coming artist.
With the help of her mother Abby Poole, 9-year-old Delilah Poole put together her own makeshift art gallery to showcase and sell her art along with a cold cup of lemonade.
What started as a spur-of-the-moment decision to get outside, quickly turned into a profitable afternoon, with Delilah selling more than 25 of her paintings and making over $100.
“I wasn’t really expecting it to turn into something where it was so huge,” Abby said. “I thought maybe she would sell a couple of them, but I wasn’t expecting her to completely sell out of everything’s she’s done. I was really proud of her.”
Delilah has been painting for the last year and a half. The hobby took off as the pandemic moved through the Fremont area. During the year, Delilah would show off her paintings in private galleries for her family, but Thursday’s afternoon event was the first time she debuted her work for the public.
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Delilah said painting was one of her favorite hobbies during the winter.
“I watched a whole bunch of videos on painting and I just really wanted to do it,” she said.
Delilah had recently hosted a lemonade stand with one of her friends and wanted to put together another one, which ultimately led to the decision to include her paintings.
“She had all these paintings that just were sitting in her closet, so I said: ‘Why don’t we do your gallery?” Abby said.
After putting together the gallery, Abby shared the event on Facebook. She said she quickly found her messages filled with interested Fremont residents looking to buy her daughter’s art.
“It was a lot of interest and we even had people messaging us about when she would be doing another one,” Abby said.
The paintings ranged from landscapes filled with trees and the moon to a portrait of Louise Belcher, a central character to the popular television comedy “Bob’s Burgers.”
“I really like that one,” Delilah said about her painting of Louise.
Painting helped Delilah through a difficult year due to the pandemic. During the course of the winter, Delilah herself was diagnosed with the virus.
“For awhile, she was literally stuck herself, so that gave her kind of an outlet for something to do and it was one of those things where she wanted to go out and play and we couldn’t, so she’d set up her easel in the kitchen and kind of just go to town,” Abby said.
Whether it was following along with YouTube videos to learn a new skill or just freestyling on a blank canvas, Delilah would spend hours working on her painting.
“Everybody’s really supportive and always asking if she can make them something,” Abby said.
While the money she raised from the paintings was surprising, Abby said that was never the goal. Rather, Abby said Delilah wanted to showcase her paintings because of her interest in arts and crafts.
That passion made it even more special to see Delilah’s hard work pay off.
“To see the whole community kind of rally behind her, and I mean everybody showed up, and to have people be disappointed when she sold out was really impressive,” Abby said. “I’m just really proud of her and it was nice to see her work pay off like that.”
Delilah had just one piece of advice for painters like her who want to share their hard work.
“Never give up,” she said.
That rings true for Delilah, according to Abby. Oftentimes Delilah would see herself as a perfectionist when she began working on a new project. That means it can become easy to get upset at small mistakes, but Abby said Delilah was never turned away from painting despite any challenges she came across.
“I’m just really thankful for everyone,” Abby said. “We did have some people we knew, but a lot of people didn’t know her, so it was really cool to see strangers who we’ve never met really come out and support her.”