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Expo celebrates art by students at local center

Out of more than 1,300 submissions from local public and private schools, a little more than 200 entries were selected to be part of the Youth Art Expo on display now at the Betsy Lueke Creative Arts Center in Burbank.

Virginia Causton-Keene, the center's director, said the art exhibit has been a dream of hers.

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"When I first started here last May, this is what I wanted to promote, was for kids to come in and see the gallery art so that they would be inspired to paint or create art," she said.

"So, this is a venue now, this occasion for them to actually show their own work, which I think is fabulous," she added.

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She said the artwork by the young people is awe inspiring.

"It makes me feel like to I want to go home and paint because it's so good," Causton-Keene said. "And I was shocked, including the kindergartners and first-graders."

The Best in Show honor went to Angela Garcia, a senior at John Burroughs High School.

Her untitled painting depicts a colorful image of herself wearing a set of headphones.

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However, instead of her regular skin, she depicts her face in various vibrant colors.

"I decided on a bright-color theme," she said.

Garcia takes an Advanced Placement art class at Burroughs High as well as classes at the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena.

The winner of the competition for students in transitional kindergarten through fifth grade was Kaylee Mason, a first-grader at Providencia Elementary.

Causton-Keene said she's proud of what the expo is about.

"It's amazing to think that art is carrying on in public schools as well as private schools, and I know budgets are cut in a lot of places, but this really shows that it's thriving," she said. "We've got a great future of artists... Even though, they may become accountants, they have this passion."

Other award winners whose works are part of the Youth Art Expo are:

Michael Nersisyan, Jayden Hylton, Sara Boghoussian, Ryan Essavi, Celine Najarian, Michael Levonyan, Neala Smith, Charlotte Huss, Giada Villafuerte, Michelle Ceron, Kiele Torrance, Riksy Brenes, Anolani Kanamu, Ruby Egloff, Madison Nagashiki, Camila Salas and Catalina Sutter.

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For more information about the exhibit, visit https://bit.ly/2HVoJ3Q.

mark.kellam@latimes.com

Twitter: @LAMarkKellam

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