June 07, 2016 - 8:00 PM
KAMLOOPS - A local artist says his trip to Europe to attend a prestigious French art festival would not have been possible without fundraising and support from his family and friends.
Denny Cound received the highest award at Art Tour International, finishing in the top 15 out of 1,200 artists from around the world.
"I'm still trying to absorb it," Cound said.
Cound says he has been artistic all of his life, whether it was sculpting, martial arts, screenwriting or acting. But it's more of a hobby for him, he works fulltime as an engineer for CP Rail.
The master carver found out last year he would be competing in the art show, and he was blown away when he got the news that he would advance to the next stage, and compete against the top 60 artists in the masters of contemporary art competition.
But it wasn't easy to get to last month's competition in Montagnac, France. It cost him $1,500 just to ship his sculpture there, and about $2,000 to be part of the Art Tour International Magazine. When his friends and family found out about the costs, they decided to start a Go Fund Me page for him.
"The support from my friends and family allowed me to be able to afford to live my dream," Cound said.
Cound and his girlfriend Lee-Ann, who he calls his biggest critic and supporter, travelled to small villages across France ahead of the competition, taking in landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame.
Cound says those sights will be the inspiration for his next piece, which will be a combination of the things he got to experience on his European adventure.
Cound says of this piece "even through unbearable loss and despair, "Ange de l'espoir" is a symbol of a mother's eternal undying love for her child. Within the sculpture, an angelic, mournful mother cradles her winged babe, ascending to the heavens upon a cloud of white Italian alabaster. Something magical took place while sanding her. A natural, poignant tear from her left eye was revealed and appears to run down her cheek."
To contact a reporter for this story, email Ashley Legassic or call 250-319-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.
We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016