They believe in the power of imagination – and in Detroit’s beauty and unity. Their art and poetry celebrates all that – and gives us something to think about.
This year’s winners of the Metro Detroit Youth Arts Competition are just as diverse as the 2020 winners. But many were drawn to the new theme “Just my imagination … running away with me,” based on The Temptations song. The love song pays homage to a woman who ought to be the singer’s wife and mother to his children; we pay homage to creative children and youth who work so on their art and poetry. They create with crayons and markers, digital materials, paints and more.
We already introduced siblings Arise and Temple Rock; now meet the rest of the 2021 winners.
Madison Batkiewicz – Her photo Staying above Water was part of the Detroit Beauty theme. “No matter how much we come up against like water, we will stay above it to survive,” she wrote in her application. Madison is 11 and lives in Berkley and she has taken photos for several years.
Dakarai France – His work titled Elemental was inspired by the sun and the Just my imagination theme. “It is very thought intuitive,” he wrote. It also is very intricate. Dakari is 20, has attended community college and lives in Oakland County.
Tanmay Kundapur – This Northville artist created A Whimsical Fantasy using our Just my imagination prompt. “Imagine what life would be like if nature changed its course? What if humans could fly, fishes could walk, and birds could swim? Every moment would become a whimsical fantasy; every occasion an interesting adventure… ,” he wrote in his application. Last year, his brother Ishaan won for his Detroit Beautiful image, which became our first auto-themed Mint greeting card.
Carolyn McKay – At 4 years old, Carolyn wrote a short poem called Family is the Best. She submitted under Unity and Community and lives in Wayne County with her family.
Rishika Pradhap – Riskika, 9, of Troy, believes in improving the world. So her piece Better Future indicates we must “Save nature, recycle factory wastes, and keep the city clean always.” Like many others, it came in as the Just My Imagination theme.
Meredith Woodman – We hoped for one piece that would hint at the records Motown artists created and Meredith, 16, from Farmington Hills, delivered. Her digital piece is called In My Mind. “Sometimes my mind mixes the reality with the fantasy, here is an example of that. I also am heavily inspired by music, so I added a few bands I liked scattered around,” she wrote in her application. “I am standing around what makes me happy while looking up at new ideas.”
Aditya Yogesh – This artist and graphic designer is 9 years old and lives in Sterling Heights. His hand drawn and colored poster looks like the work of someone twice or three times his age. He spent many hours making the piece, titled Together We Are Strong. “When we come together as a community, we will be strong and we can make it through tough times,” he wrote in his application. He chose the theme Unity and Community.
We will share their art during the Mint Art in Windows along Livernois – going up next week! – and other places through mid-January. Or you will be able to check them out in a virtual gallery book, similar to this one we did for our 2020 winners. And watch for a post with poetry from our winners.