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The ceramic sculpture “Triple Wart Sound Devil" resembles an angler fish with its menacing expression and sharp, pointy teeth.

It’s one of 70 pieces of art crafted by students from all across the Columbus area currently on display at the Columbus Art Gallery as part of Youth Art Month.

CAC Executive Director Steve Sorensen said the goal of the exhibit is to showcase student art created in the past year. Schools are limited to only 10 submissions each and can include all types of 2-D and 3-D art.

“We’re here to provide art to the community and to give the artists a place to do that,” Sorensen said. “I’m really pleasantly surprised at the talent level of some of the pieces that we have here.”

The Columbus Art Gallery is open 1-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. It is in the lower level of the Columbus Public Library, 2504 14th St. and admission is free. It’s here those in attendance can see Melody MacDonald’s “Triple Wart Sound Devil” piece for themselves. It's one of Wendy Mues Bonge's favorite student creations.

“That one looks amazing, it's pretty cool," said Mues Bonge, an art instructor for St. Edward Public Schools. “That was definitely one of our favorites."

A ceramic phone amp is designed to increase the sound of any phone placed inside of fish creature. Mues Bonge said it's one of 10 pieces on display by students in grades sixth through 12 from St. Edward. Artwork from two St. Edward teachers is also on display at the gallery.

Sorensen said there has been a recent shift towards more digital artwork and photography lately. Because there’s a huge market for graphic design, he said he isn't surprised. From 2-D paintings to clay sculptures, the gallery aims to allow students to be as expressive with their work as possible.

“There’s a lot of different types of art that are represented,” Sorensen said. “We want to be able to not put any limits on where it is their creative side takes them to.”

The student art will be on display through April 19. A reception for the gallery will be held from 6-8 p.m. on March 14. The event was originally planned for March 7 but was postponed due to poor weather conditions. Mues Bonge said the show acts as a reward for her students that put the most effort into their art. She encourages students to visit the gallery because it can be a learning experience to see all the work other schools in the area are producing.

“I appreciate the opportunity to show the students work in March,” Mues Bonge said. “I really enjoy the fact that they can show in a gallery.”

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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