Winners of International Student Covid Art Contest
Posted on 06/02/2021

OCENET sponsors 2nd annual art contest for international students

At the beginning of March 2021, almost a year to the day Covid-19 started to wreak havoc on our lives, we sent out call #2 to our international students inviting them, once again, to pick up the brush or the pencil or the microphone and to share a special talent that was helping them though this pandemic by participating in our 2nd annual OCENET art contest we called Cov-Art Contest #2.

We asked them to send us their songs, raps, poems, music videos, artwork, short stories, photos…or any other artistic medium. All we asked is that they be original, creative, and fun. We were not disappointed. The many submissions we received included a sculpture, a poem, a short story, collages, photos, food creation photo diary, paintings, an amazing language video in one of our student’s third languages and a video of the crafting of a beautiful Dutch wooden shoe! Incredible talent amongst our international students!

The voting was done by OCENET staff and once again it was a daunting and difficult task. Each and every submission was original, creative, imaginative…and deserving. After a long deliberation, the winners were chosen…

Congratulations to our First Place winner, Tomona Ogino, from Bell H.S. for her beautiful and poignant pencil drawing, inspired by her love for her ‘Grandparents’.

Congratulations to Second Place winner, Yingzi Chen, from Woodroffe H.S. for her powerful sculpture ‘Bird’ which ‘expresses the loneliness that people feel in isolation…the idea that we are all caged birds waiting for the day we can finally be free again’.

Congratulations to our Third Place winner, Niklas Schneiker, from Nepean H.S. for his wonderful imagery and maturity in the beautifully crafted poem ‘Arianna’.

Cov-Art2 Tomona Cov-Art2 Yingzi
‘Grandparents’, First Place winner, Tomona Ogino, from Bell H.S. ‘Bird’, Second Place winner, Yingzi Chen, from Woodroffe H.S.

The students who participated in the Cov-Art Contest were asked describe their work or the inspiration behind it. Many students wrote that creating something whether it was food or music or art was helping them during the pandemic.

One of our students created a collage from her drawings of faces showing different emotions. She wrote “…you have a lot of feelings during your exchange year (especially in covid times). Each face represents one emotion with their color. You can also see the emotions are connected with a spiral. The meaning behind that is, that the emotions are connected and it is ok, to feel sometimes more than one.”

Another student who submitted a beautiful and powerful acrylic on canvas explained “this is my art work that helped me during quarantine. Its name is Attempt at Freedom.”

And yet another wrote: “I arrived in Canada during lockdown. I had mentioned to my host mom that I have an interest in cooking. Since my host mom is also passionate about learning international dishes, we decided to use this as our pastime to survive the quarantine. Our journey began in the kitchen….Cooking has turned out to be an escape from lockdown and it brings us joy. Just like an adventure.”

Wow….the wisdom and resilience of these students!

The OCENET team enjoyed sponsoring this Cov-Art contest and hope next year we can take out the ‘Cov’ out of Cov-Art. Many thanks again to all the students who participated.

By Kari Hanes, Project Leader, Short-Term/Group Programs

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