Illustration Station, Mikesville

A Coloring Contest of Lunar Proportions

Yesterday I had the honor and privilege of co-judging a coloring contest! Several months ago, I made an illustration for the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience‘s annual lunar celebration. 2013 is the year of the snake. Here is my happy little guy, focused and disciplined.

WingLuke_LunarNY2012_finalI love the Wing Luke. I would encourage anyone to visit. I think it’s best summed up in their own words:

Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience is dedicated to immersing people in uniquely-American stories of survival, success, struggle, conflict, compassion and hope. The Museum is in the heart of Seattle’s vibrant Chinatown-International District, and includes the very hotel where countless immigrants first found a home, a meal and refuge. As our nation’s only museum devoted to the Asian Pacific American experience, it’s one of the few places that can truly give you a new perspective on what it means to be American. The Wing is a Smithsonian Affiliate, a partnership with the Smithsonian Institution.

WingLuke_then&nowIn addition to many permanent exhibits and rotating shows, the Wing Luke provides the community with many events and activities. A very popular one is the annual lunar new year coloring contest. This year’s grand prize includes 2 round trip Jet Blue airline tickets, $100 gift certificate to Dragon’s Toy Box, and a one year patron-level membership to the museum! This is serious stuff! There is also a people’s choice award, which is a $500 toy store shopping spree, as well as smaller gift certificates for honorable mentions. The categories were ages 0-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12, with three honorable mentions per group. It was a delight to see so many colorful entries decorating the walls of the museum. There were hundreds of submissions and many strong contenders. I really appreciated the artists that tried all sorts of mixed media and weren’t confined by the lines.

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I am happy to say that my favorite piece won the grand prize! Larissa Yu really stood out from the rest with her meticulously decorated piece. It is vibrant with color, with a focused attention to detail, just like a true zodiac snake! I also love the scene she’s created with children and birds joining in the celebration, with what I interpret as confetti raining down on the festivities. Her design was impressive enough for me to give her my highest score, but then I noticed that she is only seven years old! Wow! Hopefully Larissa won’t be putting me out of work. Here is her fantastic snake:

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Being a judge for the first time was quite a lot of fun, and also a bit heart-wrenching. I know  how hard everyone worked on their pieces, and I just want to say “good job to everyone!”

BONUS! This is my favorite part of the museum. This instillation is called Letter Cloud. The hanging papers represent letters immigrants sent back home. There are subtle recordings playing in the background. You can hear the sound of waves while people read actual archived letters from former residents.

BONUS! This is my favorite part of the museum. This installation is called Letter Cloud. The hanging papers represent letters immigrants sent back home. There are subtle recordings playing in the background. You can hear the sound of waves while people read actual archived letters from former residents.

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