Local artist shares talents to offer unique Valentine’s Day gift

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William Shakespeare once said, “Eyes are the window to the soul.” Inspired by that expression, a local artist is sharing her talents offer a unique, intimate Valentine’s Day gift – the experience of being painted.

Satyavani “Vani” Akula is a self-taught, award-winning artist from Horseheads with a studio in downtown Elmira. She was the first court artist in upstate New York who worked on the Thomas Clayton trial, where cameras were not allowed. She has won the People’s Choice Awards in fine art exhibitions at the Arnot Art Museum, and “Best in Show” at the Elmira Street Painting Festival.

Every Valentine’s Day, she offers live sketch paintings as part of her “Apple of My Eye” sale. She gave us a taste on 18 News Today as she painted portrait sketches of anchors Elizabeth Worthington and Jordan Brown.

Vani said it typically takes about 4-5 hours for the painted sketch to be complete. Don’t worry – you get a break every 30 minutes. 

Vani has a studio in Downtown Elmira located at 215 West Water Street. You can also visit her website to learn more about purchasing a painted sketch. 

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