Metro-East Living

Teen artist on display during East St. Louis festival

Andra Lang, 18, will show and sell his work Sunday at the Arts & Entertainment Festival in East St. Louis.
Andra Lang, 18, will show and sell his work Sunday at the Arts & Entertainment Festival in East St. Louis.

Artist Andra Lang, 18, will show and sell his acrylic paintings this weekend.

He’s one of the artists, including entrepreneurs, poets, dancers, and musician, who will be part of the Arts & Entertainment Festival from 2-5 p.m. at Katherine Dunham Museum’s Outdoor African Village, 1005 Pennsylvania Ave. in East St. Louis. It’s an event put on by Charmaine Savage’s “I Am East St. Louis, The Magazine.” Its July-August issue features arts and entertainment.

“I have actually purchased some of Andra's work,” said Charmaine, “and look forward to purchasing more in the future. I really appreciate his individual voice that comes through in his work. I need to find space for one of his large pieces!”

Andra, a 2016 East St. Louis Senior High grad, plans to attend Southern Illlinois University Edwardsville this fall. Last summer, his interest in art took him north for a class at School for the Art Institute in Chicago. Ten of his paintings hang at Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation Center in East St. Louis. He also has shown his work at The Abbey in Belleville.

He played alto sax in middle school and high school marching band. Eventually, he got involved with speech team and the National Beta Club.

“During those activities, I came across a lot of artist-related mediums,” he said, “and painting was something I took an interest in. I also did acting and dance.”

Andra is the son of Andra Lang Sr. and Marquetta Thornton. He has two sisters, Tiara Lang, 23, and Mya Scott, 10

We asked Andra a few questions.

Q: What do you like about art?

A: I like that it’s something that I found later in my teen years. It grew so rapidly. It’s new way to approach ife. It’s something I will have the rest of my life. It’s a rewarding feeling to express yourself another way, in a different form. Now, it’s as much a part of my life as my family ... I do know my work has the potential to inspire. I plan to have about 20 pieces for sale.

Q: Favorite medium?

A: Acrylic. I experiment with oil as well as pastel and colored pencils.”

Q: What inspires you?

A: I find inspiration through my everyday life. Ideas come back to me when I want to do a painting. Inspiration can come from everywhere.

Q: What’s next?

A: I’m going to SIUE in the fall where I will major in fine arts and studio.

Q: After that?

A: I definitely want to open a gallery and produce my work. I also want to run a not-for-profit that fosters young teens into art to give them a hobby and something to help them grow.