Young artists depict Columbia ‘unity’

ARTISTS Wyatt Rago, Yoon Carlsen and Mia Garcia with “The Columbia Gorge” on display in The Nook at Columbia Center for the Arts.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea
ARTISTS Wyatt Rago, Yoon Carlsen and Mia Garcia with “The Columbia Gorge” on display in The Nook at Columbia Center for the Arts.



A clay-paper-composite vision of the Columbia Gorge, created by a quartet of high-energy Hood River youth, is on view at a local gallery.

The four students in the Mixed Media Collaboration at Columbia Center for the Arts created a five-foot diorama of the Gorge using multiple materials that were provided or brought from home. As one project in the CCA summer arts program, the youngsters created the installation under the guidance of artist Mefore Aday. (Her own works are also on display at CCA in the current Best of the Gorge exhibit.)

“It communicates the unity of the Columbia Gorge,” said Yoon Carlson, 12, pointing to its depiction natural features and trees on both sides of the river.

Parents and friends attended last week’s unveiling of the installation of “The Columbia Gorge,” created over a four-day period out of paper, Styrofoam, cardboard, rocks, plastic, tissue paper, lights and composite roof tile.

‘‘We tried to use different materials do make something big,” said Wyatt Rago, 11. “We tried to make the Columbia Gorge as best we could.”

“What I enjoyed about this is I met Yoon and we had a lot of creative ideas to do all this,” said Mia Garcia, 10.

Wyatt’s sister, Charlotte, 9, also participated.

Yoon added, “I learned a lot about how to use the materials and I had a lot of fun.”

Wyatt said of the project, “It had a lot of getting your hands in there, a lot of messiness and a lot of roughness. I like doing that with art. The clay was my favorite part.” (He crafted a small toilet, hidden among the trees.)

The kids would get to take home portions of the installation they created, however most of it will be visible through the end of July. The center is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

“It was super-fun, and to have them all day was quite an experience,” Aday said.



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