Local artist Russell Mank, a recent Harrison School of the Arts graduate, was announced as the 2011 National GRAND PRIZE WINNER at the National Young Artists & Authors Showcase sponsored by Sister Cities International, Washington, DC. Mank will be officially recognized by the City of Lakeland at a July 5th City Commission meeting.
His piece entitled Green Future is slated to tour throughout the United States as part of the Young Artist Showcase. Mank won $1,000 cash and another $400 towards travel to the Sister City conference in California where the showcase works of art are now on display. The winning art and literature pieces are scheduled to tour the United States for a year with announced stops in San Diego, California, Dayton, Ohio and Suffolk, Virginia. New stops will be introduced as part of the 2012 portion of the art tour.
This year’s international showcase, themed “Shaping your Community for a Greener Future” was an opportunity for 13 - 18 year-old artists to utilize recycled materials or other 2D media to illustrate the ways they, their community, or their sister city are working to protect the local environment. A panel of judges selected the five US winners and five international winners based on originality, composition, and theme interpretation.
Mank said this about his award winning art work, “This piece of art comments on the modern movement for greener automotive technology.” He added, “It is a collage of old and new design materials with a soil element that became the base from which new greener technology will bloom.” A prominent sunflower captures the eye on Mank’s piece of art which he says represents a green future.
Mank also won a $1,000 college scholarship through Lakeland Sister Cities International in a separate award this year. He plans to attend Ringling College of Art & Design in Sarasota, to pursue an advertising career.
Since 1988, the Sister Cities International Young Artists Showcase has encouraged youth around the globe to express their interpretation of their mission, promoting peace through mutual respect, understanding, cooperation through one individual, one community at a time.