Claire Anderson, contributing writer 

Cansas Christiansen is a local artist who has lived in North Logan for the past 16 years. She is a talented painter and enjoys teaching summer art classes for kids as well as creating and putting together scenes for the North Logan Pumpkin Walk each year. In interviewing Cansas and asking her some questions about herself, her art experience, and her background with the Pumpkin Walk, we were able to get to know Cansas. Read on for a Q&A on her art experience and details on the North Logan Pumpkin Walk, which is happening now.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you discovered your passion for art. 

“My name is Cansas Christiansen. We came here for my husband Jason’s work as a physical therapist, and we have loved calling Cache Valley our home ever since. A little bit about me: My background schooling is in social work, but I always loved creativity and art. When I was in high school, my mother and I signed up for a community art class, and I discovered I had a talent for painting. I painted anything I could get my hands on after that class, and like anything else, the more you do it, the better you get. This talent turned into a job painting cros­s stitch canvases after I was married, which I did for many years from home while my kids were in school.”

What is your background with the Pumpkin Walk?

“When we moved here, we had one very busy toddler who loved to be outside.  Our new neighborhood friends invited us to the North Logan Pumpkin Walk, so we bundled up, loaded up the stroller, and set off to see what it was all about.  The Pumpkin Walk combined all things I love: Halloween, art, creativity, family, and community.  I was surprised the event was completely free, amazed at the talent of those who had created scenes, and, to top it off, everyone was given a free cookie at the end. It was magical! I thought then that I would love to be involved in this event someday.

In October 2015, my best friend and I decided to try and do a Pumpkin Walk scene ourselves. It was so much work, so many hours of planning, painting, and figuring things out, but I knew I was hooked. I’ve been a part of creating a scene every year since then. ­My favorite scene that I’ve been a part of is still the second scene I ever did: ‘Old Glory.’  My friend and I dreamt it up, sketched it out, and got to work! SO MUCH WORK! When it was complete, we had a total of 325 pumpkins painted, sealed, re-bared, wired and secured to 10-foot backdrops. We prayed for no wind or severe weather, and the magic of the Pumpkin Walk totally came through for us! Since then, I’ve been involved with scenes like, It’s a Small World, Alice in Wonderland, Mario Kart, and this year’s Hotel Transylvania.”

Why should people attend the Pumpkin Walk? 

“If you’ve never been, I promise you will be impressed by what you see at the Pumpkin Walk, and it is going on right now, October 14-16 and 18-19, open 9 a.m to 10 p.m.  It’s completely free, and if you come at night all the scenes are lit up with hundreds of carved pumpkins lighting the path.  You will absolutely fall in love. It’s amazing what a community can accomplish when we come together. It’s a testament to what good people live here in Cache Valley!”

These days, how are you spending your time showcasing your talents and teaching others how to be creative? Why do you enjoy it? 

“I still work from home, but I teach painting classes now. I started teaching kids in my backyard on summer days. I love kids and I love their artwork! They are so proud of whatever they create and I love being a part of that. Eventually I started traveling to people, teaching at birthday parties, girls’ nights out, date nights, work parties, or any other excuse to get together that involves paint brushes and a canvas. Who knew taking an art class with my mom in high school would have led to all of this? If you’ve always wanted to try a paint night, whether you consider yourself artistic or not, I would love to be a part of it. You can follow my Instagram @createpaint.cansas or my facebook, Create Paint.” 

With her gift for painting and artistry, Cansas Christiansen has contributed to our community in a unique, impactful way. For years she has provided people throughout Cache Valley with an outlet for creativity and has shared her passion for art through classes for children and adults as well as through her detailed Pumpkin Walk displays. As you attend this year’s Pumpkin Walk, you may gain a renewed appreciation for the great talent on display and the hard work of many like Cansas that is put into making it a magical family tradition that everyone can enjoy.