By Nancy Gutierrez

The Courthouse Gallery of the Arts is helping young artists to experience what could be their first art reception and exhibit.

Eleven advanced art students from Exeter Union High School have some of their pieces on display at the gallery in it's newest exhibit.

The exhibit was made possible, in part, by an interested and talented high school student. Devonna Watson said she has been drawing and painting since she was a child. In the advanced art classes she was able to develop other techniques and accumulated a variety of pieces. She was encouraged by Mayor Leon Ooley to contact the gallery committee about displaying her work in the courthouse.

"I met with them about doing a show and it turned into a high school exhibit but half of the pieces are mine and half are other students," Watson said.

At an art reception last Thursday students, parents and interested community members came out to support the budding artists. Teacher Keri Schultz said a variety of pieces were chosen for display including scratch and charcoal sketches.

"I really hope they have this every year," said Sophomore Christine Kunkel. "It's a good experience to have other people see your art, besides teachers and students."

Ronni Harris said he was more involved in his drafting classes but he wanted to see what more he could do with colors. He decided to enroll in the art class and said he got a feel for it.

"I'm not sure if I'll continue with it in college," he said. "But it could be a future passion."

Sisters Sandra and Jared Pablo both have a knack for art. Schultz chose the two to display their work for the high school exhibit.

"It's a privilege to be able to show other people your art," Sandra said.

The 11 art students with pieces at the exhibit include: Watson, Sandra, Jared, Harris, Kunkel, Melissa Raposa, Natalie Blackham, Amy Harr, Mirella Jimenez, and Rachel Ozburn.

The exhibit will be showcased through the end of June. Watson is a senior and is planning to attend Azusa Pacific University. She plans on supporting her love of painting by working as an interior designer.

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