Students create eco-art for ArtPrize with Consumers Energy

Rukundo Nshimiyimanna has 'Hope' for energy renewal

The top 10 finalists in the sixth annual SmartArt competition are now on display at the ArtPrize HUB, 41 Sheldon Blvd. SE.  The 10 were selected from nearly 50 entries created by Grand Rapids Public high school student artists for this year’s contest, a collaboration between GRPS, ArtPrize and Consumers Energy.  The contest is open to students in grades 9 -11.

Skyscrapers, pastel solar panels, wind turbines and watercolors are just some of the images and mediums used to create works of art with a renewal energy theme. The SmartArt Top 10 will move to JW Marriott during ArtPrize 10 this fall.

Rose Gerson, in red blouse, poses with her mixed-media artwork ‘Colors of the Wind’

Now in its sixth year, the SmartArt completion – which stands for Students Making Art with a Renewable Theme – challenges young artists to explore concepts of clean energy, reducing waste and seeking alternative earth-friendly options by channeling their own creativity.  During ArtPrize, Consumers Energy will display a large banner featuring the Top 10 SmartArt finalists on the wall of its electric substation at Fulton Street and Market Avenue. The top winner and the winner of the “people’s choice” online vote will be announced during ArtPrize on Sept. 30 and will receive a $1,000 college scholarship.

“I am grateful to be working with Consumers Energy to blend art with sustainability and environmental stewardship – then elevating the students’ work for the entire world to see as part of ArtPrize 10 and the final 20 announcement,” said Grand Rapids Public Schools Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal.

The 10 finalists along with their artwork title, grade, and high school:

  • Lana deGraaf, “Solar Bus,” 10th, City High/Middle School
  • Emanuel Galindo-Peralta, “60%,” 9th, C.A. Frost Environmental Science Academy
  • Rose Gerson, “Colors of the Wind,” 10th, City High/Middle
  • Jazmine Knight, “Dream in Action,” 11th, City High/Middle
  • Lillian Kuipers, “Polluted Night,” 11th, City High/Middle
  • Elena Mealing, “Neglected Connection,” 11th, City High/Middle
  • Rukundo Nshimiyimana, “Hope,” 11th, Innovation Central
  • Jenna Sherwin, Light Up The World,” 11th, City High/Middle
  • Alex Van Kuiken, “Empire,” 11th, City High/Middle
  • Madison Younts, “Our Planet In Bloom,” 11th, City High/Middle

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