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Ovechkin, Capitals take notice of artist who painted pictures of players

Taylor Kampa produced works for restaurant near Capital One Arena

by Pat Pickens @Pat_Pickens / NHL.com Staff Writer

Taylor Kampa turned her love for painting and the Washington Capitals into an incredible art collection in her hometown.

Kampa, a Capitals fan from Washington, D.C., has become a hit in the district with her pictures of Washington celebrities, including six Capitals that are now on display at Circa Chinatown, a restaurant adjacent to Capital One Arena.

Tweet from @tkopaintings: Just hanging with the fellas. 👋 All of these paintings, plus nine more of other DC celebs and athletes are now installed and on display at @CIRCAbistros in Chinatown right next to @CapitalOneArena! #ALLCAPS @backstrom19 @ovi8 @JohnCarlson74 @Holts170 @TJOshie77 @tom_wilso pic.twitter.com/IMYLajsLdB

"It has been amazing sharing something that I am excited about that resonates with the people in my city," Kampa told NHL.com. "I've been painting these portraits for a long time, so it's awesome to have them seen by so many people."

Circa commissioned a series D.C.-area celebrity pictures and asked Kampa to put together 15 paintings for their newly opened Chinatown location, where Capitals fans regularly flocked during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. She painted forwards Alex Ovechkin, Tom Wilson, Nicklas Backstrom, T.J. Oshie, defenseman John Carlson and goalie Braden Holtby as part of the series, and Kampa's works drew Ovechkin's attention. He liked and commented on an Instagram post she made painting the Capitals captain hoisting the Stanley Cup. 

"I almost died," Kampa said.

The pictures also caught the eye of the Capitals foundation, who commissioned Kampa to create a painting for their Casino Night fundraiser next year. 

Kampa has been a professional artist for the past decade or so and began selling her works to her friends as a student at James Madison University. She typically works with acrylic paint on stretched canvas and also does abstract art, accepting inquiries and selling completed works through her website

She called her Capitals pictures "passion projects," which took about eight hours to fully complete. Though Circa had already commissioned her work, Kampa's art profile grew immensely after she shared sped-up video of her Ovechkin painting in July.

Tweet from @tkopaintings: TOM WILSON. 🏒 @tom_wilso @Capitals #ALLCAPS @tkopaintings pic.twitter.com/38xuvojt5o

Tweet from @tkopaintings: OVI. 🏒 @ovi8 @Capitals #ALLCAPS @TKOpaintings pic.twitter.com/EOv9mOpWW3

Kampa has regularly painted pictures of Capitals players since she became a fan after she began dating her now-husband in 2009. Like many in the Beltway, Kampa lived and died through the Capitals playoff run and was elated when Washington won the Cup for the first time in its 44-year existence.

"The playoff run was an amazing experience for everybody in D.C.," Kampa said. "Finally winning the Cup was the coolest thing to happen in D.C. sports since I was too young to remember."

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