Zoe’s first show

Published 12:55 am Saturday, July 21, 2012

Zoe Birk has spent four months studying language so that she can advance her education in art.

The 2011 Andalusia High School graduate has been living with her paternal aunt in Belgium where she has been studying French and art at a prep school. She plans to study art at a Belgium university, but must first improve her French to participate in admissions interviews.

Home visiting her parents, Ranier and Eleonora Birk, Zoe will have a solo show of her work at the Lower Alabama Arts Coalition. An opening reception is scheduled for 6 until 8 p.m. this Thurs., July 26.

“I am so, so, so, so excited about the show at the LAAC,” she said. “It’s the first show I’ve ever done and my goal is to get as many people as possible there.”

With that goal in mind, she’s convinced her grandmother, who is visiting from Argentina, to prepare empanadas for the crowd.

The twenty-some-odd pieces to be included are recent works, and on Thursday, she was still adding to them.

“Most of my most recent art is still in Belgium, as I didn’t know I would be doing this when I left to come home,” she said.

While she is still experimenting with different styles and media, she describes her work as “joyful.”

“It’s all very colorful and bright,” she said. “It’s very varied, but you’ll see a lot of girls and a few abstracts. There is a lot of color. I think it’ll be interesting.”

The work will remain on display through August.

Birk said she has painted “forever,” but credits AHS art teacher Joni Brannon with helping her focus on her work and eventually choose art as a career.

“I didn’t think I was going to pursue art because it wasn’t the safe career,” she said. “The more I fell in love with it, I realized it is what I want to do.”

Born in Argentina, Zoe has lived in the United States since she was three. Her father is a native of Germany, her mother of Argentina.

She said she is thrilled to be spending time in Europe.

“I wanted to travel in Europe,” she said. “I thought about studying in Argentina, but I have visited there a lot. I really wanted to see the world, as cliché as that sounds.”

She describes Brussels, where she’s met people from Italy, France, Spain, Australia and Argentina, as “completely fun.”