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Innovative student art

A turquoise dragon, an umbrella with ink designs, a manga folding card and faces.

A turquoise dragon, an umbrella with ink designs, a manga folding card and faces.

These are some of the themes featured by Grade 12 art students for this year's Emerging Talent XIV that opens Friday at the Evergreen Cultural Centre (1205 Pinetree Way).

The show, which has traditionally defined the direction of art among Tri-City youth, highlights 79 pieces, with some students - like Xin Yue Zhu, 19, of Gleneagle secondary - having all three of their entries on display.

Zhu, who had two works in last year's exhibit (the Chinese native is repeating Grade 12 for English-language requirements), said she's already been accepted to the Art Institute of Chicago in September.

She and Kaitlin Nagy, 17, also of Gleneagle, toured the Coquitlam facility on Monday to prepare for the upcoming show and to get a sneak peek at their peers' pieces.

Nagy, who has applied to the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, has three artworks in the 14th annual juried exhibit as well: a clay sculpture of her year-old niece, Hannah; a coloured-pencil rendition of Hannah surrounded by four fairies; and a watercolour painting of twin sisters holding hands in the forest, trying to find their individual identities.

Having the public view her work "is so emotional for me because it's my family," she said, noting her relatives will be at the opening reception on Sunday, which runs from 4 to 6 p.m.

Emerging Talent XIV is open until Feb. 19 (gallery hours are Monday to Saturday, noon to 5 p.m.). The best artworks will be exhibited this spring at Coquitlam Centre. For more, visit

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