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Artist spreads holiday cheer in Pittsburgh-area community with window paintings

Artist spreads holiday cheer in Washington County community with window paintings
Artist spreads holiday cheer in Washington County community with window paintings 02:02

CALIFORNIA, Pa. (KDKA) -- Gabriella Papini, or "Ella" for short, has been drawing and painting since she was a kid.

Though Ella has done window art in the past around California, it has been some time between decorating panes. Ella says the last few years have been a little rough for her and this year, she just wanted to pick up not only herself, but her community.

"Coming from somebody who struggles with mental health issues, I know how lonely it can be walking up and down these streets," said Ella. "And it really means a lot to me that a lot of folks who are down on their luck walking around here can enjoy my artwork. It makes a difference."

The stores in California seem to agree with Ella that a little art goes a long way. So far, Ella has done three windows on commission, with several more about to get painted.

"I collaborated with some businesses, and we came up with some ideas," says Ella. "I gave them a sketch and then I work on it for one day straight, about seven hours, and I have about four more businesses in commission right now."

Ella says that her commission costs cover paint and design, as well as removal at the end of the season. Ella also told KDKA-TV that she is hopeful that she can keep painting windows for the community for different occasions throughout the year.

Ella's mom, Marsha Papini, who runs California Consignment, one of the shops whose windows Ella has already painted, says that she is just so proud of her daughter, and she hopes people pick up the holiday spirit from her work.

"I just hope they take away a warm feeling of the holidays," Marsha said. "That's the main reason she does this, and I think that's a good thing to do nowadays."

If you would like to see Ella's work in person, you need only stroll through downtown California and check out the local stores she has worked on. It gives a whole other meaning to the term "window shopping" this holiday season.

For more information on Ella and her work, check out her Facebook page.

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