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Two seniors debut their art projects in the center's Grand Ballroom for the community to see

Newberg High School and the Chehalem Cultural Center have partnered for two exhibits after two seniors reached out about displaying their art.

Carissa Smith-Burkett, curator and arts program manager at the center, said she believes this is the first time the CCC and NHS have partnered for such a display.

"We're happy to host," she said.

The event is titled "Dear Newberg: Who Are You?" and is by senior April Stuckey. The one-night exhibit will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday in the grand ballroom at the cultural center.

According to the project statement online, Stuckey's exhibit says "simply looking at a person's age, race and gender does little for our real understanding of who that person is."

The question of "who are you?" is a purposely open-ended question which Stuckey asked her fellow students as well as adults to answer.

Smith-Burkett said Stuckey's exhibit will showcase the 300 or so letters she has collected for this project, from students and local community groups, and she will be erecting them up around the ballroom. Additionally, there will be stations for those in attendance to write letters to add to the collection.

"Her intention is trying to have reflection on who our community is and how diverse it is," Smith-Burkett said.

The CCC also hosted senior Logan Boyd on March 8 for his project. Boyd created a four-foot-square canvas cube. Smith-Burkett said Boyd's project featured community members in the audience painting on the cube or gluing objects onto it.

"It's a collaborative thing for people to add onto this canvas cube," she said.

Whereas Stuckey's exhibit is just for a night and she'll collect the letters afterward, Boyd's cube will be on display at the CCC for the remainder of March.

Although this is likely the first such pairing, Smith-Burkett said she'd like to see the cultural center and the schools partner more in the future for student exhibitions.

"I'm excited to feature students," she said. "It's especially helpful for high school students thinking of pursuing a career in the arts. I would love to be able to continue to support them."

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