Toyota Jamaica fetes art contest winners
(From left) Micheal McGrane, general sales and marketing manager — Toyota Jamaica, with the first-place finishers in each of the three age categories of the Toyota Dream Car Art Contest, K’Nisa Sterling, Naima-Kourtnae Reid, and Zahra Johnson. (Photos: Rory Daley)

The local portion of the 15th Toyota Jamaica Dream Car Art Contest was completed when the nine winners across the three categories were awarded their prizes at Toyota Jamaica’s Old Hope Road showroom on Saturday, April 23.

“The dream car competition could be summed up into several words, one of which was creativity. When I looked at all the artwork that was submitted, this was our largest year with over 160 entries, the scope of creativity was fantastic. Dream Car is about dreaming and when you dream you don’t take guidance from anyone else, and I think that came across very well in this year’s entrants because the vehicles and different types of mobility that were shown were incredibility creative,” Micheal McGrane, general sales and marketing manager, Toyota Jamaica, told the Jamaica Observer’s weekly Auto magazine.

McGrane’s words were echoed by first-time celebrity judge Wayne Marshall.

“I am very impressed by the Dream Car competition. Big up to Toyota Jamaica for putting this on and inspiring the children to be creative and innovative,” added Marshall.

K’Nisa Sterling of Vaz Preparatory School led the seven years and under category with her piece Air Pollution Converter. Tareq Brown from Stella Maris Preparatory School and Rafael Lee were second and third in the category. Sterling’s dream car was one that took polluted air and converted it into fuel for vehicles, fertiliser for plants, and bricks to build houses.

The artwork from all nine winners on display.

“I entered the competition because I love to draw,” said Sterling.

In the eight to 11-year-old category, it was Naima-Kourtnae Reid who came first. The nine-year-old Stella Maris Preparatory School student won with her piece Toyota Cloud of Kindness featuring a dream car that flies all over the world spreading love and kindness.

“It gives books, devices, art pallets, and science tubes to children’s homes, captures viruses, plants and waters crops, and puts animals in safe zones,” explained Reid.

Second in the eight to 11-year-old category was Jazara McCarthy also from Stella Maris Preparatory School. She was followed by Elizabeth Barrett from Belair Preparatory in third place.

The 12 to 15-year-old category went to 13-year-old Zahra Johnston of the St Andrew High School for Girls. Her art piece, Toyota Recy-duce, fully embraced the Dream Car theme as it featured a see-through car with retractable tentacles that picked up garbage it came across while driving. Benjamin Barrett of DeCarteret College was second and Javel Linton of Calabar High School, third. Reach Academy completed the list of prize winners as the school with the most entries.

“I’m very excited and happy that I was able to get first place. I’m hoping and praying for the best that I could possibly win in Japan,” said Johnston.

The nine entries will be sent on to Japan for the global portion of the competition. Due to the worldwide novel coronavirus pandemic there will be no travel to Japan this year for the grand finals. Up for grabs is a prize package for both students and their schools of US$5,000 and US$10,000.

By Rory Daley Observer senior writer daleyr@jamaicaobserver.com

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