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No matter what color scheme she has in mind, Monserrat Huitron-Horta somehow always seems to end up using blue.

The junior at Columbus High School said she’s attracted to using the color in her art, which will be on full display at the Winter Fine Arts Festival inside the school’s library. The gallery will be available for public viewing from 5-7 p.m. on Monday during the Here We Come a Waffling fundraiser.

“I wanted to do something more jazz style, abstract art,” Huitron-Horta said of her painting at the show. “I started making different shades of blue. I started splattering, just going with my emotions.”

The show is going to be comprised of about 600 pieces of artwork from roughly 300 students. This is the first time art teachers Jamie Stodola and Cindy Campbell are coordinating the event -- they both started working at the school this fall.

“I think we have some very talented students,” Campbell said. “Have to say, I'm a little nervous, this being our first year doing the art show. But overall, I'm just really excited about it and proud of the work that our students do.”

This year, the school's administrators and the two teachers will each pick three pieces from the show to put on display at the library for the rest of the semester. Stodola said the act of displaying ones own art is important. 

“As an artist, most of the time we make art, it’s a piece of ourselves, but it’s meant to show the world,” Stodola said. “So display is essential, you want to set it up to represent you.”

Select art students will have their own art tables to exhibit their work at the show. One of these students is senior Rachel Feagin. On Friday, she had a dozen of her paintings along with a portfolio book on display. Out of her collection, she said her painting of a geisha girl is the one she's most proud of.

“That painting right there, my geisha is inspired by my Japanese heritage and I plan on minoring in Japanese in college. So I kind of wanted to have a piece that shows who I am and what I plan on doing,” Feagin said. “It’s pretty rare that I'm really happy about a piece.”

Upon graduation, Feagin said she plans on studying studio arts in college. She said working with art allows her to relax and express herself.

“I feel like art just allows me to express myself much more than words,” Feagin said. “It allows me to relax, even though sometimes to my family it seems I’m not relaxed, because I’m stressed out about my artwork. It is really my outlet for enjoying myself.”

Another one of these select students is senior Joseph Campbell. He also said art allows for him to express himself.

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“I like being able to express myself, and It’s a nice distraction from the day to day life,” Joseph Campbell said. “I sort of think through my hands instead of my head, so it’s nice to give my brain a break.”

The student said he wants to go on to study art in college, possibly either digital art or ceramics.

“I can work with clay, all day,” Joseph Campbell said.

After Monday’s art show, the CHS band will be hosting a concert at 7 p.m.

Eric Schucht is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at eric.schucht@lee.net.

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Eric Schucht earned his bachelor's degree in journalism at the University of Oregon in 2018. He has written for The Cottage Grove Sentinel, The Creswell Chronicle, The Pacific Northwest Inlander and The Roseburg News Review.

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