CASA GRANDE — Paintings and drawings of cats, sunsets, waterfalls, anime characters and even an ominous-looking insect are proudly displayed on a virtual wall, highlighting the artistic talents of area teens.

The Casa Grande Public Library last week unveiled its new online teen art gallery, offering residents a virtual visit to an art gallery.

The gallery, which will be up until May 2021, features the work of area students in grades six through 12.

“It will be an ongoing art gallery throughout 2020-2021,” Julie Andersen, youth librarian, said. “We will start another one next summer.”

Andersen started the art gallery as a way to promote the artistic talents of area teens and to keep them busy.

“I was searching for virtual programs to offer our teens since we cannot meet with them in person over the summer due to COVID-19. This was one idea that caught my attention as I know we have very creative teens in our area,” Andersen said in June. “I thought teens, grades six to 12, might like the opportunity to showcase their artwork this way too.”

The online gallery aims to mimic the look and feel of an actual in-person art gallery.

Six students entered works for the gallery:

  • Elizabeth Fults, a sixth grader at Villago Middle School, with two drawings of anime characters.
  • Emma Moorehouse, a ninth grade home school student, with a work entitled “Demon Cat.”
  • Elizabeth Cook, a 10th grader at Mission Heights Preparatory High School, with a drawing entitled “Tarantula Hawk Wasp.”
  • Haden Herbert, a ninth grader at ASU Preparatory Academy of Casa Grande, with three works featuring cartoon characters.
  • Logan Herbert, an 11th grade student at ASU Preparatory Academy, with three landscape works.
  • Audrey Solomon, a 12th grade student at Seton Catholic School, with three nature-inspired works.

The library accepted works of art from teens through June 20. Andersen said that now that the gallery is up and online, she’ll continue accepting submissions from teens who want to display their work.

“I originally was going to close it but it is easy to add work to the gallery and I thought this was a great way for students to get their artwork into the community,” Andersen said.

Teens can send artwork to jaandersen@casagrandeaz.gov.

Submissions should be in the form of a digital copy of the artwork. When submitting a piece, artists should include their name, grade, the title of the piece, school name, email address and the town in which they reside.

Submitted artwork must be original and created by the teen submitting it.

Each teen can submit up to three pieces but each piece must be sent in a different email.

A link to the gallery is available on the Casa Grande Library Facebook page, @cglibraryaz or through the city website, https://casagrandeaz.gov/library/.

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Melissa St. Aude is the Arts & Entertainment editor at PinalCentral. She can be reached at mstaude@pinalcentral.com.

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