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SIOUX CITY -- The Sioux City Art Center's 29th annual Youth Art Month Exhibition kicks off Sunday with a 1:30 p.m. opening reception at the center, 225 Nebraska St. The exhibition will run until April 8. 

The exhibition this year celebrates artworks by elementary students. 

Out of 440 entries submitted from 30 schools in the tri-state area, 81 were selected by juror Cory Knedler, University of South Dakota art professor, and art center director Al Harris-Fernandez, to be put on display in the show.

Erin Webber-Dreeszen, development coordinator at the Sioux City Art Center, said many parents are thrilled that the museum frames and displays their children's paintings, drawings and mixed-media works. Webber-Dreeszen said the exhibition and its opening reception are popular. 

"It is always extremely well-attended," Webber-Dreeszen said. 

Besides the two-dimensional pieces, there are also a handful of smaller, three-dimensional works on display. The whole exhibition looks very much like a show of professional, grown-up artists -- one could miss the fact that the artworks were all done by elementary students. 

Awards for the top artworks in each grade will be announced Sunday. 

Cevaeh Jaqua-Erickson's charming watercolor "Bunny" features bold lines, assertive shapes and an impressive color palette. The Morningside Elementary first-grader's painting also demonstrates good watercolor-handling skills -- her colors are sharp and mostly within the lines, and the airy technique she used on the sky works well. 

Though Erickson decided the bunny is a girl, she said it does not have a name. She said she didn't look to a reference when she created the bunny image -- rather, she drew from her memory of what bunnies look like. 

Perhaps the most impressive part is how quickly Erickson was able to finish the painting. All told, she estimated the watercolor took her roughly "one second" to complete. 

Erickson said she enjoys her art class, and may wish to pursue art in her future. 

"I like painting things," Erickson said. She said she and her parents will "maybe" be attending Sunday's opening reception. 

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Lifestyles reporter

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