April 20, 1998
Andrew Walgamott/staff photo
Tyler Finney, Rebecca Mikesell and Denice Burningham, Leota Junior High students, placed 1,2,3 in an art contest and were recognized for their achievement before a Seattle SuperSonics ballgame last week.
by Andrew Walgamott
WOODINVILLE--A Leota Junior High student's artwork on how to end hatred and vices not only won a contest but will be shared with Puget Sound residents. Tyler Finney's color pencil drawing depicting rockets labeled "drugs," "prejudice" and "murder" blasting off the earth placed first in the grade 7-9 division of AK Media/NW's 21st annual "Larger than Life for Kids" contest. As a reward, the art will be displayed on a Lynnwood billboard for a year. "I'm really ecstatic and surprised," Finney, a 15-year-old ninth-grader, said at Key Arena last week. His work and that of eleven other first, second and third place winners was shown their at last Tuesday's Seattle Supersonics and Vancouver Grizzlies basketball game.
This year's contest theme was "If I could change the world." Entry forms were distributed at schools and Boys and Girls Clubs throughout King and Pierce counties. Finney said his idea came brainstorming for an art class assignment. After several tries, Finney came up with the winning entry. He said the design symbolized getting rid of bad things. Evil is carried away from earth in sacks trailing behind missiles so it doesn't spread around the universe, he said. Also, flags from different countries form a solid link around the world representing unity, Finney said. "[The idea is] to better the human race," he said.
Finney wasn't the only winner from Leota. Fellow ninth-graders Rebecca Mikesell and Denise Burningham took second and third place, respectively. Their teacher is Gerri Rowen. Finney's artwork will now appear on a 14-foot by 48-foot billboard at 168th St. Southwest and Highway 99 in Lynnwood.
The contest was judged by advertising professionals, community leaders and Sonic forward Jerome Kersey. More than 1,000 entries were received. "We do it for the kids," said Randy Swain, president of AK Media/NW. "I love the look on their face when they see their art on the billboard for the first time."