GPA, Port of Shimizu honor young artists


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Isle of Hope students display their winning submissions for an art contest coordinated by the Georgia Ports Authority and the Port of Shimizu, Japan. From left are Kylah Adams, seventh grade; Ayat Lara, first grade; Noa Harris, fifth grade; Brysen Mckinley, sixth grade and Layla Morris, third grade.

 Students at the Isle of Hope School were honored May 16 for their award-winning submissions to an art contest coordinated by the Georgia Ports Authority and the Port of Shimizu, Japan.

For the past seven years, Isle of Hope students have entered themed art projects into the competition. In-school coordinator and art teacher Magen Peigelbeck said this year’s projects focus on Japanese culture and things found in the Savannah community, such as ocean life.

The winners, determined by a panel of GPA employees, each receive a certificate and a shippo yaki —a decorative Japanese enameled tile — provided by the Port of Shimizu. A similar contest is held each year in Shimizu for which the Port of Savannah provides certificates and kaleidoscopes. Six prizes from the Port of Shimizu were awarded Tuesday — one for the winner of each division.

This year’s winners are:

First Grade (Koi Fish — Mixed media on paper): Ayat Lara
Third Grade (Jellyfish — Mixed media on paper): Layla Morris
Fifth Grade (Bonsai Trees — Wire, plaster and beads): Noa Harris
Sixth Grade:  (Mandalas — Cardboard and acrylic paint): Brysen McKinley
Seventh Grade: (Paper Koi — Mixed media on paper): Kylah Adams
Eighth Grade: (Fish wind chimes — Clay): Trinity Brisbane

Peigelbeck said the contest highlights the importance of Savannah’s port and community as well as a global partnership with Japan.

Eighth-grade winner, Trinity Brisbane was practicing for graduation and unable to attend the ceremony. Her grandmother, Awanda Brisbane, accepted the award on her behalf. From left are Brisbane, Isle of Hope art teacher Magen Peigelbeck and Vonnetta Epps, GPA Assistant Manager Market and Research Development.

“The partnership with GPA is always supporting the arts and we look forward to this contest every year. It fosters a wonderful international relationship,” Peigelbeck said.

First-grader Ayat Lara said she and her classmates learned about koi fish and Japanese culture when working on their projects. She made sure to use plenty of orange in her winning submission — a brightly colored koi fish drawn in marker.

Likewise, third-grade winner Layla Morris enjoyed learning more about jellyfish and their habitats. She added paper streamers for her jellyfish’s tentacles, which was then pasted onto a dappled ocean floor.

“I love helping animals and I love art,” Layla said.

One other piece highlighting Japanese culture was the sixth-grade students’ Bonsai trees. Noa Harris’ winning submission utilized silver, coiled wire to form the tree’s branches. She said her class had a choice of using clay pots or rock pieces for the base and she chose the rock to give the tree a more natural feel.

Koi fish were also featured in the seventh-grade project, in which students created “pop-up” representations of the fish. Kylah Adams said when studying the fish, they were often found by waterfalls, so she made sure to include one in her finished project. She also added trees, clouds and a brick retaining wall by the water’s edge.

“The koi fish were mostly orange, black and white, so I wanted to make sure to use those colors in my piece,” Kyla said as she described her fish’s very colorful tail.

Color was also the dominant factor in Brysen McKinley’s winning mandala, which was ornately finished with hues of turquoise, gold and maroon. He said when crafted in ancient cultures, they used colored sand, which washed away after the pieces were created.

Eighth-grade winner Trinity Brisbane was practicing for graduation, but her grandparents were sure to attend the ceremony in her honor. Her grandmother, Awanda Brisbane, said Trinity’s pink and multi-colored koi fish wind chime showcased her creativity and imagination. Brisbane credits Isle of Hope for encouraging and motivating Trinity’s artistic side.

“They molded her mind and she made the mold,” Brisbane said.