Grosse Pointe Academy 7th-graders Ava Said and Bode Neumeister earned first-place trophies yesterday in the 2017 Chinese Zodiac Art Contest, an annual competition sponsored by the Confucius Institute of Wayne State University.
Said received first-place in the “3D category” for her piece she called “The Fire Rooster Bowl,” which was designed to depict this year’s Chinese Zodiac animal, the rooster. Said also collaborated with Neumeister on a first-place design in the “T-shirt” category of the contest.
In addition, 6th-grader Neil Murphy won a 3rd-place trophy for his 3D project called, “A Rooster’s Fortune.” Five other Academy students competed in the competition last night. They are 6th-graders Robert Peabody, Alexander Kuplicki and Shayla Andrews; and 8th-graders Emmanuelle Cubba and Gordon Acheson.
The Confucius Institute is located within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Wayne State University. Its mission is to provide and support Chinese language and cultural programs for K-12 schools, the university community and professional communities in southeastern Michigan.
Erin Brott, who teaches art at the Academy, noted that Said first heard about the competition in Shanyi Chen’s Mandarin Chinese class.
“Ava worked with me on a number of days after school on making her ceramic rooster bowl come to life,” Brott said. “She is a very creative and talented young lady who puts a lot of time into planning the details and execution of her designs.”
“Out of nearly 100 art pieces entered into the competition this year, our students brought home three trophies: two first-place trophies and one third-place trophy,” said Chen, who teaches Mandarin Chinese to Academy 5th through 8th graders. Chen said the winner and participation certificates for all of the GPA students who submitted artwork will be presented after spring break. Plus, student artwork will be on display outside her classroom for open house next Wednesday.
Said’s winning art was based on this year’s Zodiak animal and the fact that the number “7” (in 2017) is considered lucky. The fired ceramic rooster featured the colors gold, brown and yellow and the number 7, which she represented with the number of combs on the rooster’s head.
“Ava tried to make the spirit of the rooster’s personality come through in her work by rendering in a trustworthy and sincere expression on the rooster’s face,” Brott added. “The judges obviously thought she was successful in that regard. She really is an exceptional talent.”
Chen said that besides the theme of the zodiac animal, competition rules stated that all of the art pieces must depict four Chinese characters, have beautiful colors and design as well as fine art technology. “Plus,” she said, “the each entry submitted must be generally enjoyable and appreciated as a whole piece of art to audiences.”
Chen also noted said she is working to set up a team of GPA students for the Confucius Institute’s Chinese Quiz Bowl, which will be held next Saturday, Mar. 18.
More on the Confucius Institute:
Established in January 2008, the WSU-Confucius Institute, with the support of Hanban: Chinese Language Council International, and Wayne State’s partnering Chinese institution, Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, provides a multitude of programs and resources that assist individuals and organizations in their pursuit of learning Mandarin Chinese and in learning about Chinese culture.
The Grosse Pointe Academy is an independent, coeducational day school serving children age 2-1/2 through Grade 8. We foster an inclusive environment that respects all cultures and religious beliefs. We seek to remain faithful to our heritage as a former Academy of the Sacred Heart and to those who through their Catholic faith and perseverance sought to preserve and enhance the legacy of this past for generations. Incorporated as a non-profit institution, The Grosse Pointe Academy is directed by a Board of Trustees working together to serve the Southeastern Michigan community.