The winners of the 2011 Growing Up Asian in America art and essay contest have been announced!
The largest program in the USA to celebrate Asian heritage, Growing Up Asian in America is a signature program of the Asian Pacific Fund and provides a unique forum for youth in grade K to 12 to celebrate being both Asian and American and to express this through creative writing and art. The program is also an important community re source, helping people better understand the experiences of young Asian Americans and learn more about life in a place as diverse as the San Francisco Bay Area.
Each year more than 1,000 Bay Area students compete for prizes totaling $27,000. A new theme is selected each year and for 2011 is “Lost and Found”. Organizers note:
Our hunch was that children and youth of all ages experience loss and discovery throughout their young lives and might not find opportunities to reflect on those changes.
Local Bay Area libraries are hosting exhibits that display the winning entries and honorable mentions of the Bay Area students from now until February, 2012. There you can see Hyejin Ahn’s winning art, “Never Be Lost Again,” a film strip image of war and goodbyes. Grace Wang’s essay that suggests to her good friend who is adopted that maybe her [birth] mother might have accidentally lost her. How Payal Ahuja felt lost when she first came to America at age eight; she missed her family and friends in India. Then she found that her library in Mountain View was “a constant source of joy.” Through our 2011 program we learn that loss and discovery are an important part of our experience, especially for those who have traveled thousands of miles to become American.
The exhibit schedule can be found here and is a must see for adults and children! You will be amazed at the insight, creativity, wisdom and talent of these students! One of my favorite winning entries in the art category is pictured above. The image is by Aniketh Umesh, winner in the K-5 art category, and is titled “Lost Out: On Good Times With Grandpa In India; Found: Land Of Opportunity In The United States”.