Thanks to the many students who entered Sooper Art 2016, the art competition inspired by the book,
Sooper Yooper: Environmental Defender, by Mark Heckman and Mark Newman.

The sixth 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.

“Judging the competition this year was as difficult as it’s ever been,” said Jon Carfagno, Director of Learning and Audience Engagement at GRAM. “After six years, we continue to be amazed by the quality and range of art that is submitted. We are also very excited that the number of participating schools continues to grow, reflecting that students across the state are engaged in protecting the environment.”

Although there were many excellent pieces worthy of merit, the judges 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, the judges’ 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 will receive invitations to a special reception celebrating the winners on Sunday, May 22, 2016 at 2 p.m. in the Grand Rapids Art Museum’s Cook Auditorium. A total of 15 winners in each age group will be honored on stage. Each will be presented with a certificate and a check for $100 as their artwork is projected on a large screen so they can pose with their award and artwork. The three winners of the $250 Mark Heckman Special Merit Award (one in each age group) will be announced during the award ceremony.

Following the presentation of awards, participants and their families will be able to view the winning artwork in a special gallery showing. Light refreshments of punch and donuts will be served.

Winners of the 2016 contest represented a record 33 different schools scattered across Michigan.

Congratulations to all of the winning students, including our first five-time winner, Eleanor Iorio; four-time winner Hayden Long; three-time winners Amelia Iorio, Brianna Naughton and Purvi Raj; and two-time winners Joshua Archer, Vishok Gunasekar, Nora Meadows and Iryna Zhurauliova.

A link to a gallery of the winning artwork will be posted here on Friday, May 6, 2016.

Age 5-8 Winners:
Brianna Bert, 8; Wattles Elementary
Eliana Brikho, 8; Wattles Elementary
Maggie Dressander, 8; St. Anthony of Padua School
Dharanishree Dwarakanath, 5; Schroeder Elementary
Michelle Fedosseev, 7; Wattles Elementary
Katharine Hulst, 8; St. Anthony of Padua School
Ishaal Ibadat, 5; Troy Union Elementary
Amelia Iorio, 8; Wealthy Elementary
Carolyn Jiang, 8; Schroeder Elementary
Iris Mo, 8; Bemis Elementary
Nola Pearson, 7; Emmons Lake Elementary
Geralynn Pierson, 7; St. Anthony of Padua School
Elle Stabler, 8; Thornapple Elementary
Grace Sun, 8; Hamilton Elementary
Lagion Yang, 7; Troy Union Elementary
Elaine Zhang, 8; Pearl Lean Elementary

Age 9-12 winners
Deena Aboul-Hassan, 12; Boulan Park Middle
Lily Gomez, 9; Bursley Elementary
Anita Govindswamy, 9; Deerfield Elementary
Sophia Guo, 10; Lawton Elementary
Florenc Loewen, 12; Central Woodlands
Sandhya Manivasagam, 12; Boulan Park Middle
Nora Meadows, 12; Hartland Middle at Ore Creek
Alex Pelton, 12; St. Anthony of Padua School
Purvi Raj, 12; Boulan Park Middle
Aarushi Shah, 12; Boulan Park Middle
Hannah Vierheilig, 12; All Saints Academy
Theresa Wei, 12; Smith Middle
Jessica Yang, 12; West Middle
Raha Zaman, 11; Detroit Country Day Middle
Katherine Zhao, 12; Boulan Park Middle
Iryna Zhurauliova, 10; Sandy Hill Elementary

Teen Winners:
Joshua Archer, 13; Hartland Middle at Ore Creek
Emily Cooke, 18; Calvin Christian High
Shraddha Gatla, 13; Boulan Park Middle
Emily Goldberg, 18; Forest Hills Northern Middle
Avani Govindswamy, 13; Avondale Middle
Vishok Gunasekar, 13; Boulan Park Middle
Ana Ha, 14; Byron Center West Middle
Eleanor Iorio, 13; East Grand Rapids Middle
Sarah Koenes, 14; Byron Center Middle
Cynthia Liu, 13; Clague Middle
Hayden Long, 13; Schoolcraft Middle
Brianna Naughton, 15; Athens High
Destiny Roy, 14; Mancelona High
Savannah Szarowicz, 16; Forest Hills Northern High
Elliot Taylor, 17; Kent Career Tech Center
Emily Wang, 15; Greenhills School

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

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

Click here to read MLive’s news article about one of the past Sooper Art contests.

Click here to view a gallery of the winning 2016 entries.

Click here to view a gallery of the winning 2015 entries.

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.