Thanks to the many students who entered Sooper Art 2015, the art competition inspired by the book,
Sooper Yooper: Environmental Defender, by Mark Heckman and Mark Newman.

The fifth annual environmental art contest, sponsored by the Wege Foundation and hosted by the Grand Rapids Art Museum, drew many creative entries and this made judging a challenge. There were many excellent pieces that were worthy of merit, but we were limited to honoring a total of 16 in each age group. Whether it was a matter of originality or the choice of theme that made the difference, our decisions were difficult and purely subjective. The choice for the top award was especially hard as two or three other pieces were judged equally worthy. Please note that many of the pieces need to be seen in person to be fully appreciated.

The students listed below received invitations to a special reception celebrating the winners on Saturday, May 16, 2015, in the Grand Rapids Art Museum’s Cook Auditorium. A total of 15 winners in each age group were honored on stage. Each was presented with a certificate and a check for $100 as their artwork was projected on a large screen so they could pose with their award and artwork. The three winners of the $250 Mark Heckman Special Merit Award (one in each age group) were announced during the award ceremony.

Following the presentation of awards, participants and their families were able to view the winning artwork in the Education Center. Light refreshments of punch and donuts were served.

Winners of the 2015 contest represented a record 29 different schools scattered across Michigan, including the Upper Peninsula.

Congratulations to all of the winning students, including our first four-time winner, Eleanor Iorio; three-time winners Philip Laporte, Hayden Long, Alexa Pearson and Alexander Yang; and two-time winners Arlene Chen, Jimmy Cobb, Amelia Iorio, Brianna Naughton, Vandya Nedle, and Purvi Raj.

Age 5-8 Winners:
Emma Arsulowicz, 8; St. Anthony of Padua
Derek Blackwell, 8; Wattles Elementary
Ella Duffner, 8; Breton Downs Elementary
Divyashree Dwarakanath, 8; Schroeder Elementary
Serafiina Ege, 8; Breton Downs Elementary
Amelia Iorio, 7; Wealthy Elementary
Helen Karas, 8; St. Anthony Of Padua
Claire Li, 8, Martell Elementary
Serena Li, 8; Bemis Elementary
Nathan Mueller, 8; Our Savior Lutheran
Vandya Nedle, 8; Wattles Elementary
Alexa Pearson, 8; Emmons Lake Elementary
Mariska Penning, 7; Dutton Christian
Sophia Putz, 7; St. Anthony of Padua
Jenna Wallace, 8; Marshall Elementary
Kathleen Zhu, 8; Susick Elementary

Age 9-12 winners
Joshua Archer, 12; Farms Intermediate
Benjamin Bocian, 11; St. Anthony of Padua
Arlene Chen, 12; Boulan Park Middle
Kaila DeVries, 12; Byron Center West Middle
Sam Foss, 12; Detroit Country Day
Vishok Gunasekar, 12; Boulan Park Middle
Eleanor Iorio, 12; East Grand Rapids Middle
Hayden Long, 12; Schoolcraft Middle
Nora Meadows, 11; Farms Intermediate
Kalista Perron, 11; Brimley Elementary
Purvi Raj, 11; Boulan Park Middle
Ashley Weinberg, 12; Larson Middle
Alexander Yang, 10; Wattles Elementary
Katherine Zhao, 11; Boulan Park Middle
Jiaying Zhou, 10; Simonds Elementary
Iryna Zhurauliova, 9; Palmer Elementary

Teen Winners:
Natalie Bradshaw, 15; Forest Hills Northern High
Jimmy Cobb, 15; North Muskegon High
Jenna Flory, 15; Forest Hills Northern High
Joel Haan, 17; Calvin Christian High
Emily Halverson, 14; Byron Center West Middle
Hongying Jiang, 15; Troy High
Philip LaPorte, 14; Zeeland West High
Christina Lin, 13; Detroit Country Day
Brianna Naughton, 14; Athens High
Laura Papp, 17; Forest Hills Northern High
Ethan Pipe, 13; Byron Center West Middle
Jewel Richardson, 13; Byron Center West Middle
Kelly Schroeder, 18; Forest Hills Northern High
Vidhi Sinha, 13; Smith Middle
Anabel Varghese, 13; Forest Hills Central Middle
Darren Zeng, 13; Boulan Park Middle

Mark Heckman Special Merit Award Winners:
Serena Li, Age 5-8
Kalista Perron, Age 9-12
Jimmy Cobb, Teens

Click here to view a gallery of the winning 2015 entries.
Your cursor will turn into a magnifying glass if you would like a closer look at each piece.

Click here to “Like” and follow Sooper Yooper on Facebook.

Click here to visit the Grand Rapids Art Museum website and learn more about GRAM programs.

Click here to read MLive’s news article about last year’s Sooper Art contest.

Click here to view a gallery of the winning 2013 entries.

Click here to view a gallery of the winning 2012 entries.

Click here to view a gallery of the winning 2011 entries.