2010 Cray-Pas® Oil Pastel Contest Highlights Artistic Talent and Diversity of Students Nationwide

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Thousands of U.S. and Canadian K - 8th Grade Students Entered the 15th Annual Cray-Pas® Wonderful, Colorful World Contest. Nine Winners and 25 Honorable Mentions Were Selected from 150 Finalists on Saturday, January 30. All 150 Finalists Will Be on Exhibit at MOCHA in Oakland, CA from January 31 - March 15, 2010 to Celebrate Youth Art Month. The Finalists’ Artwork Will Be Posted on Sakura’s Online Art Gallery at http://www.sakuraofamerica.com/2010winners.

I see this exhibit as an important voice for our country’s most forward thinking young artists.

This year thousands of entries by U.S. and Canadian kindergarten through eighth grade students were submitted to the 15th annual Wonderful, Colorful World of Cray-Pas® Contest. One hundred fifty student finalists were chosen by a qualified curator, and on Saturday, January 30, a six member panel consisting of CA Bay Area art educators and artists convened to select the winners and honorable mentions. The artwork of all 150 finalists will be on display at the Museum of Children’s Art (MOCHA) in Oakland, CA from January 31 to March 15, 2010. The finalists’ artwork will be posted on Sakura’s online art gallery at http://www.sakuraofamerica.com/2010winners, and the winning artwork will be posted on the Oil Pastel Society website at http://www.oilpastelsociety.com.

Veronica Dondero, the contest curator, commented that “the quality of the pieces submitted was remarkable. I was especially impressed by the diversity of themes and the culturally charged images of people and places, beautifully rendered, underscoring the diversity of modern America. I see this exhibit as an important voice for our country’s most forward thinking young artists. It is my hope that The Wonderful, Colorful World of Cray-Pas® will continue to grow, to become an even more important venue for young artists all over the Unites States and Canada.”

The 150 finalists were judged for image originality, creativity, emotional content, oil pastel skills and age appropriateness. Three judging levels of artwork were reviewed: kindergarten to 2nd grade, 3rd grade to 5th grade, and 6th grade to 8th grade. Each category has a first, second, and third place winner, and 25 honorable mentions were awarded. Sakura of America is the proud sponsor of this national children's art competition that celebrates visual art and Youth Art Month. The contest was initiated in 1995 to support art education by stimulating young minds, reinforcing creative thinking, and encouraging participation and artistic self-expression. Students can submit artwork created with oil pastels and any combination of other art mediums.

Art teachers are encouraged to celebrate student art achievements in March in recognition of Youth Art Month. The winners will be featured in national art publications, and three to five hundred submissions will be selected to participate in the annual International Youth Art Exchange Program, sponsored by the World Awareness Children’s Museum in Glen Falls, NY.

Wonderful, Colorful World of Cray-Pas® 2010 Contest First Place Winners:

K – 2 Judging Level
Kaleb Moniz, artwork entitled “Hungry Alligator”

3 – 5 Judging Level
Youjin Shin, artwork entitled “My Face”

6 – 8 Judging Level
Yumi Arimizu, artwork entitled “Scary Ants”

A list of all winners, honorable mentions, and finalists is attached in PDF format.

Prizes:
Students awarded first, second, or third place in each category will receive a savings bond and a one year membership to the Oil Pastel Society. Other prizes include a t-shirt imprinted with the winning artwork for both student and teacher, an award certificate, products and gift certificates supplied by participating sponsors, and a generous supply of Sakura art materials and writing instruments. Melody Junker of Waynesboro Middle School in Waynesboro, TN is the Random Prize Winner and will receive a 432 piece set of Cray-Pas® Junior Artist® Oil Pastels.

Sponsors:
Sponsors include American Artist Magazine, Artograph, Arts & Activities Magazine, ArtWare by You, Blick Art Materials, Canson, C Thru, General Pencil Company, Meininger Art Supplies, Michaels The Arts and Crafts Store®, MOCHA, Nasco, Oil Pastel Society, Pacon Creative Products, Sax Arts & Crafts, SchoolArts Magazine, Silver Brush Limited, Star Products, The Artist’s Magazine, Today’s Catholic Teacher, and Triarco® Arts and Crafts.

Background:
In 1925, Sakura Color Products of Japan created Cray-Pas® oil pastels to bring professional-quality art materials to children at an affordable price. Now Cray-Pas® oil pastels are available for every artistic level – Cray-Pas® Junior Artist® for young students, Cray-Pas® Expressionist® for high school students and hobbyists, and Cray-Pas® Specialist® for professional artists.

Sakura Color Products of America, Inc. is committed to providing technologically superior, innovative, and safe products that support individual expression and artistic freedom. The company is headquartered in Hayward, CA. and is the U.S. subsidiary of privately held, Sakura Color Products Corporation of Osaka, Japan. Sakura also manufactures the popular Gelly Roll® gel pen, Pigma® Micron fine-line pens, and many other high-quality writing instruments and art materials. http://www.sakuraofamerica.com

MOCHA is a nonprofit visual arts organization that provides hands-on learning opportunities for children and their families. They provide educators with resources to integrate arts learning across academic subject areas, advocate art education within the local community, and emphasize outreach to children in low-income areas. http://mocha.org

The Oil Pastel Society is an international organization of artists seeking to further the advancement of oil pastels as a fine art medium. http://www.oilpastelsociety.com

The mission of the World Awareness Children's Museum is to foster knowledge and appreciation of world cultures. They are committed to using art created by children to promote peace and understanding around the world. http://www.worldchildrensmuseum.org

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Leslie Crumpler
Sakura of America
800-776-6257 ext. 102
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