WORTHINGTON — The annual Nobles County Student Art Show is in full swing — with a twist.

This year's art show is virtual, to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. Rather than inviting the public to the art center, the Worthington High School art department has created a slideshow of the students' work, which is available to view on the art department website.

Senior Paw Mu specializes in watercolor painting. A lifelong painter, she first got interested in watercolor because she saw an artist she liked on the internet and became determined to learn the technique.

Her favorite work in the art show is called "Blooming Rose," a mixed media piece that blends watercolor and ink.

"This is about self-growth," she said. "I was at my worst, and I came out of it by painting this."

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The image of a rose isn't surprising, as Mu frequently features flowers in her work. She feels a connection with flowers because "Paw" means "fragrant flower" in the Karen language.

Junior Destiny Scroggs focuses on drawing, primarily with charcoal and more recently with graphite. She's been practicing since she watched a "how to draw" tutorial when she was very young.

Scroggs mainly draws portraits — sometimes of people she knows, but mostly of people whose photos she sees online. She usually selects subjects that stand out to her or have unique features.

Art "give me an opportunity to express myself," she said.

Mu agreed with that sentiment.

"If I can't speak, I just like to express it on paper," she said.

Both artists are excited to show their work to their friends and family.

Art teacher Gail Holinka explained that WHS has recently added another art teacher to its staff due to increased demand for classes. During the COVID-19 pandemic, art has been essential for the students to heal and express their emotions, she said.