Extra credit for award-worthy artists

August 10th, 2011
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After a journey that started with an announcement back in mid-May, ultimately involved more than 60 young artists and close to 200 art pieces, and ended up with nine winners, it’s finally time to meet those nine winners of the summer 2011 Liliha Library Anime Art Contest — or at least the ones who could make it out to the library on a Saturday afternoon, anyway. And we did just that last Saturday.

It was a star-studded affair — “star-studded” in this case, of course, meaning “a good number of people who have been mentioned in this blog before.” nemu*nemu artist Audra Furuichi and young adult librarian Linda Mediati? Check.

Kawaii Kon senior administrator Roy Bann? Check.

Certain Otaku Ohana blogger and Rough Guide to Manga author who was tagged in a promotional poster as a “manga/anime guru”? Check. (And looking a lot better than he did at the last awards ceremony … euuuugggh.)

Also in attendance was Brady Evans, leader of the new Pen & Ink Works manga-inspired art group. He chatted with some of the artists and passed out fliers for the group’s first event (Saturday, Sept. 10, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the McCully-Moiliili Public Library, and yes, I’ll be sure to remind you about that in this space as it draws nearer).

Tag-team partner in fandom Wilma J. sadly wasn’t able to join us this time around, so I recruited another friend/coworker to help take some pictures for this post. So meet Christina Chun, our night-shift photo-processing specialist and former artist of the mid-1990s Ka Leo O Hawaii comic strip Sumobunny (ladies and gentlemen, that Sumobunny reference may well have been the most obscure cultural reference in an Otaku Ohana post ever). She’s the one in the purple striped shirt, chatting with Audra and Roy.

But back to the ceremony itself. Several things were tweaked this time around, beginning with the starting time of 1 p.m. (the ceremony for the first contest in January took place at 10 a.m.). When people were allowed in at the appointed hour, they were greeted with a table filled with fabulously free swag.

Here’s a closer look at what was offered: posters, bookmarks and Naruto buttons courtesy of Viz, Butterfingers courtesy of Kimonokitsy Studios.

There was also a display of manga and anime/manga-related books¬† available in the library system …

… along with various posters thanking the sponsors.

But who we really came to see were the talented young artists behind the pretty artwork that Audra and I had chosen. Six out of our nine winners attended the ceremony; here are five of them:

Megan Uchida, 2nd place color, grades 6-8: “Sakura

Chandelle Oliver, 1st place black/white, grades 6-8: “Plush Animals

Joelle Takayama, 1st place color, grades 9-12: “Magician

Bo-bae Kim, 1st place black/white, grades 9-12: “One

Caytlin Yoshioka, grand prize winner: “Victorian Dream

The sixth winner, Nicole Nguyen, arrived a few minutes into the ceremony. I think it caught Christina and me a bit off guard,¬† seeing as how no individual shots of her exist in either of our photo stacks. Sorry! But there is a group shot of all of us with Nicole in it, and here it is. (She’s the fifth person from the left.)

Following the formal presentations, we then adjourned to the library, where Linda had set up the pictures … with a large cover draped over them for dramatic effect.

Here’s that display without the cover …

… and with our contest winners in front of it …

… and people looking at the pictures with awe and wonder, perhaps being inspired to create their own prize-winning drawings.

If anything, I love these kinds of events because it gives you the opportunity to get out and meet people. And that’s why I love this picture that Christina managed to capture. You could call it a summit of cute, as Megan, holding a little gift she made for the nemu*nemu crew, poses for a picture with Audra and co-nemu*nemu creative mastermind Scott Yoshinaga.

Until next year, everyone.

3 Responses to “Extra credit for award-worthy artists”

  1. Diane:

    Awesome!!! Still wish i could have been there…


  2. AniMatsuri:

    Considering how eager Christina used to be in helping put together JASH’s Animeco newletter back in the day I hope you didn’t have to beg to hard for help. ;)


  3. Ravi:

    Fun fact: the grand prize winner is Jon J Murakami’s niece!


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