GOOGLE spotlights a new artist today, and it’s worth noting a few things:
She renders from real life to depict a poignant moment.
She deftly blends human images and iconic letters.
She gains an audience of millions Thursday.
Oh, and she’s still an art student.
In high school.
On its home page, the tech titan is featuring an image by Wisconsin teenager Sabrina Brady, who on Wednesday was announced as the national champ of the Doodle 4 Google contest.
The competition’s theme this year was “My Best Day Ever ... ,” and the Sparta, Wisc., senior’s winning work — titled “Coming Home” — shows Sabrina running toward her father upon his return from an 18-month deployment in Iraq.
Except for the American flag she clutches, Sabrina draws herself and her dad in tones of black, white and gray — until the moment of reunion, which is dramatically heightened by the sudden switch to full color. One “O” in the word “Google” becomes the golden sun, and her warrior-father stands in as the “L.”
“Her creative use of the Google letters to illustrate this heartfelt moment clearly resonated with voters across the country and all of us at Google,” writes Doodle team leader Ryan Germick on a blogpost announcing the win.
Besides the home-page display, Google says Sabrina has won “a $30,000 college scholarship, a Chromebook computer and a $50,000 technology grant for her school.”
The California-based company notes that the competition drew 130,000 submissions — and that millions of votes were cast.
Google also announced four national finalists by grade division: Arizona first-grader Reagan Gonsalves; New York state fourth-grader Audrey Zhang; New Jersey seventh-grader Maria Iannone; and Maine eighth-grader Joseph Han.
The company announced the 50 state finalists — including the Maryland and Virginia recipients — early this month. All 50, Google says, “will unveil a special exhibition of their artwork” at New York’s American Museum of Natural History, where the Doodles will be on display till July 14.
As for Sabrina Brady’s creative future, it’s as bright as that shining big ”O.” Google reports that she’ll attend the Minneapolis College of Art and Design this fall.
Her portfolio, of course, will already feature one nationally recognized work.
SEE: Sabrina Brady and her father: