“She’s taken other classes in the past, including at the Essex Art Center in Lawrence,” Durette said.
Ariane, a member of the YMCA of the North Shore Sharks Swim Team, entered the “Quest for the Best Pint-Sized Picasso” contest online, early in August. She was soon notified that she would be a finalist and would be on the “Today’’ show on live television.
“We didn’t want to think about her possibly winning,” Durette said.
The days leading up to their trip to New York City and the show were filled with excitement, but also worry.
“I could barely sleep thinking about it,” Ariane said. “I was nervous that I’d mess up talking.”
But she didn’t.
Ariane and her mom made the best of their two days in New York City, visiting Central Park and Times Square.
“It was very exciting,” Ariane said. “I’d never been to New York, and it was really exciting to be on national television. A lot of my friends saw me and said I did a great job.
“We met at the hotel lobby and they brought us to the NBC studio in the ‘Today’ show room in Rockefeller Plaza,” Ariane said. “We went in a room and got ready, then they brought us outside to a stage.”
Surrette judged the works of the three young contestants beginning with a girl from Alabama, then a boy from San Diego.
Ariane looked at their art, and it worried her.
“The other kids were really good,” she said.
Then Surrette announced the winner.
“He said my paintings and drawings took him to another place,” she said. “It made me feel very happy that somebody like him really liked my work.”
She said that as her prize for winning the contest, the show is sending her “a bunch” of art supplies.
“I need paints and other supplies,” Ariane said. “I have some, but not that much.”