WAESN Youth Art Contest

In the spring of 2021, WAESN held a youth art contest. Winners were chosen by our Board of Directors, Youth Advisory Board, and the authors of our visual arts curriculum framework. Below are the winners and a runner up. This was one of the most fun things I’ve done as the Executive Director of WAESN. Maybe we’ll make it an annual event!

Winner of K-5 Category

Tigerlily Newman

Age 5

Rising Star Elementary School

“I made hearts for Black Lives Matter. The two colors in the middle are dark and light like our skin. The hearts are us. The colors around are orange, blue, green, and purple. It is everybody’s heart inside them. They have lots of colors in their heart. We care about other people.”

Winner of Middle School Category

Danna V Martinez Leyva

8th Grade

Louisa Boren K8 STEM

My eyes filled with tears as I saw how all the news channels were exploding with cases about anti – Asian attacks . I could not believe what was happening . Nobody has the right to attack someone just because of the color of their skin or ethnicity . I drew and dedicate this drawing for those who have been attacked or have lost their lives due to anti-Asian attacks, and also for those who are USING THEIR VOICE against those who are attacking them.

It’s so sad how nowadays Asian parents have to teach and remind their  children to protect themselves, all because there are people in this world that can’t stand to live in a country with DIVERSITY .

High School Category Winner

Jin Ah Bellefuil

Age 16

Ballard High School

I made this piece to demonstrate the Black Lives Matter movement, especially in the current climate. I pulled influence from Jamaal Barber and his message with his art. He wanted to show the Black experience and reflect what it means to be Black. Although I don’t have personal experience with those topics, I really wanted to continue his message and demonstrate the struggle, as well as the unity, of African Americans.

I chose the styles of collage and drawing, again pulling influence from a series of collages by Jamaal Barber. I wanted to incorporate drawing as well because that is the style I most prefer.

High School Category Runner-Up

Clara Sun

Age 16

The Overlake School


The pressure to live up to the model minority myth of Asian Americans as intelligent, wealthy, and successful can often be stifling. It doesn’t matter whether or not you “fit” the stereotype or not; it leaves all of us feeling lost or trapped. I chose to draw this piece in grayscale so that, like the general perception of Asian Americans in the US lacks dimension and nuance, it lacks the vibrancy and depth that comes with color. I believe it’s especially important now, with the recent rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans, to recognize the struggles with racism, hostility, and violence that we’ve faced in the past and continue to face today.

College Category Winner

Jennifer Lundgren

Age 19

Seattle Central College

I took an ethnic studies class last year during my senior year of high school. My teacher helped me think about my racial identity and how to uplift voices in the community. I wrote a paper about environmental justice, indigenous tribes, and red lining in Seattle. I learned more about the importance of native land and became more involved with events hosted by the Duwamish tribe. My ethnic studies class was an enriching experience for me.

The Asian American community is going through a healing process after the shootings in Atlanta. I’m a member at Y-We, a program aimed to uplift women. There was a day of healing at Marra Farms. Students were making artwork to relax themselves. I was inspired by this event and wanted to do a nature themed piece.

Thank you to all of the youth artists who submitted their pieces for consideration! It’s not ethnic studies if it doesn’t include all forms of art!

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