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Detroit teens get show in N’Namdi gallery, win money


Twelve local high school students recently won the 2014 “McDonald’s Celebrates Black History Moments on Canvas” art contest. First, second and third-place winners of the contest won $2,000, $1,000 and $500, respectively, in addition to having their work shown in an internationally acclaimed gallery of contemporary art.  The nine remaining finalists each received a $125 Visa gift card.

George N’Namdi

George N’Namdi

In a press statement, organizers said the goal of the art competition was to “encourage research and thought among southeast Michigan teens about African Americans’ contributions to American and world history.» Contestants submitted artwork capturing an event or figure in Black history by visiting in the first round of judging. A panel of judges then selected the semi-finalists who hail from public, private and charter schools in Wayne, Oakland, Monroe and Washtenaw counties.

Semifinalists delivered their actual works to the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Arts-Midtown for the final round of judging by gallery owner George N’Namdi, The Michigan Citizen Publisher Catherine Kelly, and McDonald’s owner/operator Tina Brundidge. The judges selected the overall winners from the 12 semi-finalists.

“The caliber of submissions for this year’s McDonald’s Black History Month art contest is a testament to the many creative and talented students living in metro Detroit,” said George N’Namdi.  “I am proud to host this exhibit and encourage visitors to join us as we honor and pay tribute to African American history, and honor our community’s young talent.”

The winners were:

– First Place – Joshua Williams, 16, Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies

– Second Place – Mikyala Dillard, 17, Davis Aerospace Technical High School

– Third Place – Tiara Jeanise Ham, 17, Cass Technical High School

Semi-finalists include:

– Zora Bowens, 15, Grosse Pointe South High School

– Takia Ebony Brown, 17, Clawson High School

– Halie Conyers, 18, Detroit Country Day School

– Timothy L. Dye, Jr., 17, Old Redford Academy Preparatory High School

– Abigail Fielder, 18, Grosse Pointe North High School

– Joseph Harris, 19, Davis Aerospace Technical High School

– Joshua Rainer, 17, Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies

– Celanese Robinson, 17, Davis Aerospace Technical High School

-n Irene Strenski, 16, Ypsilanti Community High School

Manal Kadry, Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies, was awarded for teaching Joshua Williams.

At a reception in the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art on Jan. 31, the teens’ work was unveiled to their families and the public. The month-long public art exhibit was on display Feb. 1 – 28 at the gallery located at 52 E. Forest, Detroit.

— Staff report

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