Art seems to be one of those universally shared interests among kids. Whether its crayon masterpieces hung on refrigerator doors, collaborative murals painted on school walls, or budding graffiti artists with chalk on a sidewalk, kids will find a way to express themselves and bring their imaginations to life. This week Toyota announced nine winners of the Toyota Dream Car Art Contest. Youth from across the country, ages 4 – 15 were invited to create and submit a drawing of their idea of a “Dream Car.” Hundreds of submissions came flowing in to headquarters. They were literally overflowing from the conference room in my department. There were cars that had legs like crabs; cars that helped with homework; cars that cleaned the air and water around them; cars to transport animals; and of course, cars that fly.
Choosing nine winners was no easy task. Thankfully, brighter and more artistic minds than mine were on hand to make the final call. Judges included, Cheech Marin, actor, comedian, director, and art collector; Frank Romero, artist; Olga Garay-English, General Manager, City of Los Angeles Dept. of Cultural Affairs; Jasmine Marin, artist, and student at Art Institute of Chicago; Tom Rudnai, President/General Manager, Longo Toyota/Scion/Lexus; George Borst, President & CEO, Toyota Financial Services; Ian Cartabiano, Toyota’s Studio Chief Designer, Calty Design Research; and Karen Ideno, VP of Product and Marketing, Toyota Financial Services.
Yeah, you read that right, Cheech Marin was one of our judges! A lot of people don’t know this, but in addition to being a terrific actor, the man is absolutely passionate about art. He has the largest private collection of Chicano art in the country and has his own foundation dedicated to the advancement of Latino artists.
But back to the Dream Car contest — In addition to winning a NOOK Tablet™, the nine U.S. winners are now eligible to advance as World Contest Semi-Finalists to compete among entrants from 70 countries for a chance to win an all-expenses-paid trip to Toyota City, Japan to participate in the World Contest awards ceremony and tour a Toyota plant in August 2013.
So, who were the young creative minds that blew away our judges? Check out our Pinterest page to see all their artwork: http://bit.ly/13dvDdH