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2022 Young Artists and Authors Showcase

AND THE WINNERS ARE… For the second year Tacoma Sister Cities Council hosted an international project that introduces and involves Tacoma’s youth by providing them with an opportunity to artistically express themselves; to represent Washington State and the United States in an international competition; and to understand how the arts can influence and actually transform cultural boundaries. The project’s objective is to encourage students from around the world to become involved in world issues, particularly those that promote a more unified, safe, and peaceful world. This year we are pleased to have entries from two of our sister cities, Fuzhou, China (11 entries) and Boca del Río, Mexico (7 entries). These will be submitted as International Partner entries, with the Tacoma winners listed below, to the Sister Cities International YAAS. The 2022 theme is Generation Rescue: Sustainable Water for All. Tacoma entries may be awarded First Prize – $200, Second Prize – $100 or Honorable Mention Links to each winning artwork will be added soon. ORIGINAL MUSIC
  • First Prize – George Alexander – Tacoma School of the Arts – Title: “Remote”
What Inspired You to Create This Work? I envisioned a solar punk world, where technology and nature both exist in harmony. This is reflected in my work with natural and electronic sounds both intermingling in unison, to create an atmospheric and full world. I hope you are able to immerse yourself in my sonic universe. DIGITAL ART
  • First Prize – Victoria Street – Tacoma School of the Arts – Title: “Water: the Source of Everyday Life”
What Inspired You to Create This Work? Climate Change has been happening for a very long time. And it seems that most of us like to ignore that it exist. But it has impacts beyond just the weather or natural disasters.This piece is reference to all the places where water is used and or found. Mt. Rainer is a very big source of water for the Puget Sound. We use sprinklers for irrigation and agriculture. Tacoma has Wastewater treatment plants where they treat water before sending it back into nature. These are all things that affect our daily lives. So how can we conserve water and save the planet before it’s too late? There are multiple things we can do but it’s up to us to achieve them. PHOTOGRAPHY
  • First Prize – Benjamin Kikillus – Meeker Middle School – Title: “Waterworks at Sunset”
What Inspired You to Create This Work? Spending a day at the Browns Point lighthouse with friends and family. I laid on my stomach for the photo and even got a bit wet from a wave.
  • Second Prize – Holly Kuhlman – Life Christian Academy – Title: “Rainier” 20180731_173929.jpg
What Inspired You to Create This Work? I have been interested in wildlife photography for years, and the YAAS theme this year encompasses the very heart of the things I am passionate about. I have been able to take many of my photos in the parks of Washington state because of the value others saw in protecting our resources and land. The theme of sustainable water reminded me of this photograph, taken at climber’s peak at Mount Rainier National Park. There, creek beds and waterfalls flow without the pollutants found downstream in industrial and residential territories. Though I feel blessed to have been able to see these natural wonders, the concern of losing these reserves, as well as reconciling with the ones already lost, remains ever-present.
  • Honorable Mention -Avery Silos – Tacoma School of the Arts – Title: “How Do We Save Libby the Sea Otter?”
What inspired me to create this photo was the downtown area has a lot of industrial business that are on the waterfront that are very visible to the eye. The effect that this type of pollution has on the environment and water is a huge impact that is very important to me and something that I have been advocating for some time with my work at the Point Defiance Zoo as a guide. As a guide we talk a lot to our visitors about conservation and sustainability. This picture shows the pollution that is right on the water impacting it and the wildlife in it. WRITTEN WORDS
  • First Prize – Aiysha Ali – Foss High School – Title: “From a Fish’s Perspective”
What inspired me was that anyone could visualize this topic from a human’s perspective, but it’s more challenging from the marine life perspective since fish, turtles, and all the other animals in the sea are so different from humans. They don’t talk, so we can only guess how they may think when it comes to something like climate change and water sustainability. They must have some feeling about all of it since their world is being turned upside down. I wanted to highlight that it’s not just humans being affected, it’s also the life of the animals in the water.
  • Second Prize – Nadyia Johnson – Tacoma Online – Title: “When the Water Cries”
What inspired me to create this peice is focusing on the source, which is the water. My peice gives all bodies of water a voice, this includes some as big as the ocean and as small as a pond. With my peice being in the point of view of all bodies of water it shifts the reader’s perspective. Giving the water some sort of voice reaches out to the reader directly. ART – CLASSIC MEDIUM
  • First Prize – Jayla Howard – Lincoln High School – Title: “Women of the Lake”
My reason for this image was the conservation of water. Water is an important part of human life. Humans are made out of 60% water so we must get enough in our bodies. Research predicts that a possibly near future where water will become harder and harder to get our hands on due to climate change, droughts, etc. I drew this image to represent the beauty and importance of water. Not only do humans live off of water, so does sea life, Other animals, as well as plant life that we get a lot of of our food we need to live on as well. We should value and save water to the best of our ability because it will not be here forever.
  • Second Prize – Charlotte Southworth – Stadium High School – Title: “South Beach”
What inspired me to create this piece is the important issue of the rising sea level near South Beach, in Westport, WA that is a risk to the beach. The jetty, which lines the north end of South Beach, is the subject of my piece because the jetty symbolizes strength and innovation in the midst of the rising water to counter the problem of climate change.
  • Honorable Mention – Cynthia Chin – Tacoma Science and Math Institute – Title: “Wave Fall?”
The theme was water sustainability so I thought of the ocean and rain plus things that make the scenery nice like sunsets, plus rain and ocean/lakes/rivers are the common and big type of water supply. I went a chaotic look as well. Tacoma Sister Cities would like to congratulate the winners and thank all those who entered this year’s contest.  
Read all about the YASS competition in the poster below ! Or click here to download a PDF version.
This year’s theme is Generation Rescue: Sustainable Water for All. Climate change has become an undeniably harsh reality in our lives, making the importance of raising awareness and taking action more essential every day. As temperatures rise, water patterns are disrupted, ecosystems are disturbed, cultures are affected, and energy resources are proven to be unsustainable for long-term use. These ongoing changes impact our local and global communities in every aspect, and youth are the key to tackle this global reality.
Important dates to remember:
  • January 10, 2022: Entry form becomes available
  • March 11, 2022: Entry deadline
  • March 22, 2022: Winners announce during Award Night
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