Congratulations to the winners for the “Creative Kids” contest, hosted by Allied Arts Renton and sponsored by the Renton Municipal Arts Commission.
Living through a pandemic is a unique experience for anyone, but it can be especially so for youth. By using art to express their complexity of emotions, Renton students exhibited their range of feelings. Students touched on themes of loneliness, isolation, fear, loss, and even boredom. Yet, amidst all the uncertainty, there was an underlying theme of hope.
47 students, attending Renton Schools, between the ages of 12-18 participated. The categories were visual, poetry, and creative essays. We are pleased to announce the winning entries:
- POETRY FIRST PLACE – Lily Goodall, Age 16
- POETRY SECOND PLACE – Oriana Plumridge, Age 14
- POETRY THIRD PLACE – Alicia Ing, Age 18
- ESSAY FIRST PLACE – Cole Barger, Age 15
- ESSAY SECOND PLACE – Catherine Cruz Gomez, Age 12
- ESSAY THIRD PLACE – Bill Young, Age 15
- VISUAL FIRST PLACE- Kiki Eidsmore, age 15
- VISUAL SECOND PLACE –
- VISUAL THIRD PLACE –
Read the winning entries and browse the winning visuals below
POETRY FIRST PLACE
Lily Goodall – Age 16
Hazen High School
You canceled my Sweet 16.
You canceled my sleepovers with friends.
You took away the summer camp that was always the highlight of the season.
You took away swimming in a public pool on a sweltering day.
You took away the excitement of spending full days at the beach.
You trapped me with my obnoxious family for six months and counting.
You demolished my sleep schedule so that a full night of sleep seems outrageous.
You forced me a foreign version of my school, where I can’t focus or learn.
You took away my motivation to accomplish the simplest tasks.
You wrecked the healthy eating patterns that I know are so essential to my well-being.
You introduced me to a new lonely when I somedays barely have the energy to get out of bed.
You took advantage of our lack of preparedness and hit us relentlessly with everything you had.
Worst of all,
You killed 200,000 of us, but there are still 300 million of us.
What you don’t know Corona, is
We are stronger than you.
We are smarter than you.
We will no longer be naïve and selfish.
We will stay fervent so that others can stay alive.
We long for normality but know that the lives of the innocent come first.
We will put aside our petty inconveniences and political biases for the good of the nation.
Above all else, we know that every person deserves a chance at a full and joy-filled life.
We now know how to rid ourselves of you, and we’re studying how to keep you from coming back.
COVID-19, you have met your match.
POETRY SECOND PLACE
Oriana Plumridge Age 14
Hazen High School
I AM A WHIRLPOOL.
I am a whirlpool.
Of thunder. Of rain. Of tears.
Hot tears that stream down my face
and leave wet marks through my foundation.
Hot tears that make my mascara slash
dark cuts into my cheeks.
Or cold tears that send convulsions
of fear, of pain, and of isolation
The white noise of rain
that I use to block out the world.
Dripping rain that I turn
into the gliding motions of my shining black ink
scratching on a blank page.
The soft notes of warm rain that consume my mind,
I´ll be fine.
Thunder that rumbles in my stomach
making me feel suffocated.
Like a dream
where no one can hear your screams.
Thunder that once unleashed
sends cold shudders through their brains,
and their homes,
As I make my whirlpool known.
POETRY THIRD PLACE
Alicia Ing Age 18
University of Washington (Renton HS Graduate)
Yellow. Oriental. Ching Chong. Ling Long. Chink.
Far too many times have I seen confirmation in your eyes when you ask
“What kind of Asian are you?”
and I say, “I’m Chinese.”
What you don’t see is the voice I repress
the suffocating idea I want so badly to express
that it’s not all I am
Regardless of the boxes you tell me to check or the boxes you tell me to fit in
I can be Vietnamese without being an Nguyen.
My knowledge, my accomplishments, all overshadowed by my race
The only reason I’m 4.0 is the color of my face
I am not your dictionary. I am not your calculator.
The only thing that adds up is your inability to see more than what meets the eye
Even with my almond shaped eyes, I can see how blind you are to who I am inside
When the stories society spins are rooted in stereotypes as old as archives
it renews the paint stroke of whitewash on the canvas of our lives
Privilege is what I will always lack, because POC doesn’t just mean Black
With being a minority, I’m no novice, I know to find racism, I’ll visit the oval office
Stripped of respect, I am a knight with no shield, no power to wield
If all I am good for is overachieving, the reason I’m extra is to level the playing field
ESSAY FIRST PLACE
Cole Barger Age 15
Liberty High School
In early March, there was talk of a quickly spreading virus, but among my generation it felt just to be a joke. We started hearing about how fast this thing was spreading but never felt like it was actually going to be OUR problem. Well, little did my friends and I know that in just a matter of weeks the whole world would be under quarantine with a global pandemic in our hands.
Even with news talk, then social media short behind with memes, and everybody talking about it, none of my friends seemed to take it seriously until schools started closing first for the month, and eventually for the year. It seemed so fast it was already local in Washington, the first place in America where someone tested positive. Then the virus spread so quick that we all went from just talking about it to watching our favorite restaurants and businesses being shut down or even going out of business. Me and my friends were thinking this was a blessing for all the hard work we had put into school and that we should all go party. Which we did … stay up all night and hang out with each other.
About a week into our break, I was heading over to pick up one of my friends to go do rebellious teenage things, but then totally lost contact with him as we were stuck in traffic behind lots of cop cars and ambulances. We made our way out and ended up deciding he was not going make it that night. By the morning I was getting hundreds of calls from people asking if he was okay and was discombobulated from just waking up when I finally received a call from a friend’s mom. She was in tears as she went through details about a car accident with that friend I was supposed to meet the night before. He passed away after battling a coma for months. This was my reality check, it didn’t take too long or too much for life to kick me in the rear without warning that this was going to be the beginning of a long and harsh reality of things that I won’t have any control over. Hopefully, I can take these things away from now and learn to be a better person in my own individual way.
ESSAY SECOND PLACE
Catherine Cruz Gomez
HOW THE CORONAVIRUS AND THE QUARANTINE AFFECT ME
The quarantine affected me emotionally but it also showed me a life lesson. The Coronavirus has affected me because my grandpa died, and I never got to see him and my family was worried for each other because none of us want to get coronavirus and my aunt works in the medical field and she was also worried that she would covid19. If you just take health precautions you can save many lives and your family. The quarantine has affected me because from one moment I was in school and now am doing online class it also affects me because I stopped seeing my loved ones and friends and we just had to stay in the house BORED. Thanks to quarantine now I know more about technology and with all virtual meetings or classes. And I think that the quarantine helped more families to have a better communication with each other because before everyone was at work and they just see each other at diner and do not talk a lot with their family, now everyone is at home and they can know even more their family members and they can communicate with each other and say more than… how is their day is going, let us take advantage of this situation, to unite our families more and practice the values of empathy and solidarity with those around us.
ESSAY THIRD PLACE
Bill Young Age 15
Formerly, Renton Christian School (Early entrance UW)
A carton of Granny Smith apples and a lock of marigolds. I stared
down at my front porch in confusion at what sat there. As I read the accompanying note, I learned that my neighbor, an elderly lady, had left them as a gift for my family. Bewildered, I wondered why she would give such a lovely gift to someone who had, aside from the occasional hellos, barely interacted with her. Deciding to thank her, I gave her a call and as we talked, I discovered to my surprise that all my fellow neighbors had received her gifts as well. After the call, I felt my heart warm. I headed to my family’s tomato patch excitedly, knowing exactly how to pass on this generosity. Later, I shared the story on my neighborhood app, Nextdoor. The next day, to my utter shock and delight, I found half a dozen eggs on my front porch.
Despite how difficult this pandemic has been, it has brought my neighborhood together in a way I have never seen before. My experiences with compassion and generosity have literally hit closer to home. Instead of simply sharing a fence, my neighbors and I now share an invested commitment to our community. My experiences during this pandemic have shown me a neighborhood where neighbors surprise each other with thoughtful gifts, where a teenage boy and elderly lady can bond over apples and flowers, where a simple online post can produce such heartfelt generosity. A community. A makeshift family.