Portrait by Cathlamet High School student

A portrait by a Cathlamet High School student now on view at the Astoria Art Loft.

ASTORIA — Artwork by young artists has come to the Astoria Art Loft from the little Columbia River town of Cathlamet, Washington.

At a time when many schools have done away with art classes, Cathlamet High School supports a vigorous art program. Art teacher Sue Garn challenged her students to tackle portrait painting as well as learning more about the history of Wahkiakum County.

Inspired by a trip to the Wahkiakum Historical Society Museum, students became acquainted with people who lived in the county between 1846 and 1945. After meeting people of the past, students selected an individual or a couple whose story appealed to them. These became the subjects of the paintings. Curator Kari Kandall supplied photos and biographies of the chosen people.

Most of the artists were freshmen or sophomores, along with a few juniors and graduates.

This portrait exhibit integrates local history with the creative process, validates the importance of students’ artwork and demonstrates the cooperation among school staff members, museum staff and members of the community.

The portrait exhibit is open to the public 10 a.m to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday during January at the Art Loft, 106 Third St.

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