Raigan Bedo may owe her love of art to her grandmother. Raigan said her grandmother always had something creative and engaging for her to do when she was young. She described being in her grandmother’s office while she worked and stapling random pieces of paper together, coloring, drawing, or playing with various stationery items. “It wasn’t exactly what you would call art, but I thought it was fun,” she offered. She still goes to her grandmother for certain craft supplies and said she’s about cleaned out the entire selection. She said she started to get serious about art by filling sketchbooks with drawings when she was eight. She has now completed 23 sketchbooks.

It’s led to the UVA 9th grader being recognized for her art. A landscape she painted was selected for the prestigious Dick Blick’s “Celebrating Art” competition. She called it a rare landscape since she typically draws people. But the barn caught her eye. Her family travels to the mountains of North Carolina a lot, and she said it made her happy. Raigan says she does her best work when she feels comfortable, instead of some artists who use art to comfort themselves when distressed or sad. “When I’m upset, I have a hard time drawing or painting. It doesn’t console me like it does for others,” she explained.

It isn’t the first time Raigan was recognized for her talent. Last year she was the featured young artist at the Hammond Art Center. She also likes to read, calling herself a huge Harry Potter fan who’s read all the books and seen the movies. The 15-year-old said she would love to go to college and become a freelance artist.

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