Winners of Nationwide Cray-Pas® Art Contest Win Prizes, Acclaim for Creative & Vibrant Work

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K - 8th Grade Students Win Prizes and Art Supplies to Support Art Education Programs in the US and Canada Through the 16th Annual Cray-Pas® Wonderful, Colorful World National Art Contest. All 150 Contest Finalists Will Be on Exhibit at the Museum of Children's Art in Oakland, CA Until March 20, 2011 in Celebration of Youth Art Month.

Art materials manufacturer, Sakura of America, has announced the winners of its 16th annual Cray-Pas Wonderful, Colorful World Art Contest. Approximately 4,500 pieces of oil pastel artwork by students in Kindergarten to eighth grade were submitted to this year’s contest by U.S. and Canadian teachers. One hundred and fifty finalists were then chosen for further consideration as part of a Cray-Pas Contest exhibit at the Museum of Children’s Art (MOCHA) in Oakland, CA.

At a time when art education programs around the country have been severely cut, Sakura, teachers, and contestants gathered at MOCHA to celebrate youth art, acknowledge creativity from kids across the country, and reward teachers and students for excellence in art.

Contest curator Veronica Dondero commented that the art pieces this year showed an impressive diversity of themes, imaginative and creative use of color, and that the feelings, humor, magic, and individuality of the young artists really shone through in each piece of artwork. The Cray-Pas Wonderful, Colorful World exhibit features artwork from 150 talented young artists enrolled in public schools and private art studios across the country from Los Angeles to Denver, Houston, New York city, and more.

A judging panel of professional artists & art educators chose the three winning pieces in each of three grade level categories. Michelle Myagmarsvren of the MON AEL Mongolian Cultural Center in Denver, CO won first place in the Kindergarten through 2nd grade category with a whimsical piece entitled, “Wonderful World of Candy.” Damian Hinckle of Parkview Elementary in Sedalia, MO won first place in the 3rd through 5th grade category with his technically skilled and eye-grabbing piece entitled, “Hootie.” Seanar Letaw of Pleasant Hill High School in Pleasant Hill, OR won first place in the 6th through 8th grade category with a creative and evocative piece called, “The Foreigner.” First-place students win a $200 U.S. Savings Bond, an award certificate, a shirt imprinted with winning artwork, a generous supply of Sakura art materials, and products & gift certificates supplied by participating sponsors. Visit http://www.sakuraofamerica.com/2011contest for a list of all finalists, honorable mentions, and grand prize recipients.

Furthering Sakura’s goal of supporting art education, the schools of the top nine winners will receive a generous supply of Sakura art materials, writing instruments, products and gift certificates supplied by participating sponsors.

Sponsors for the 2011 contest include Original Works (which provides the tote bags imprinted with the winning artwork), Blick Art Materials, Michaels, American Artist Magazine, Artograph, Arts & Activities Magazine, Canson, C-Thru, General Pencil Company, Meininger Art Supply, MOCHA, Nasco, Oil Pastel Society, Pacon, School Specialty Arts Education/Sax, School Arts Magazine, Silver Brush Ltd., Star Products, The Artist’s Magazine, Triarco, & United Art and Education.

All 150 finalists, as well as winners from past years, can be seen on Sakura’s own Wonderful, Colorful World online art gallery at http://www.sakuraofamerica.com.

Cray-Pas oil pastels were invented over 84 years ago in Japan to bring a professional-quality art material to children at an affordable price. Cray-Pas is available in three different levels from student to professional artist-quality: Junior Artist®, Expressionist® & Specialist®.

Headquartered in Hayward, CA, Sakura Color Products of America, Inc. is the U.S. subsidiary of privately held, Sakura Color Products Corp. of Osaka, Japan. Sakura also manufactures the popular Gelly Roll® gel pen, Pigma® Micron fine-line pens, as well as many other high-quality writing instruments and art materials.

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Leslie Crumpler
Sakura of America
800-776-6257 ext. 177
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