FY17 Toyota Dream Car Art Contest Winners Announced

Toyota Financial Services proudly announces the nine U.S. winners of its FY17 Toyota Dream Car Art Contest, which is held annually for youth, ages 4-15 years of age.

Now World Contest Semi-Finalists, the artwork by these nine youth advances to represent the United States in competing against entrants from over 80 countries. In August 2017, the top 30 World Winners will win an all-expenses-paid trip to Toyota City, Japan, and participate in an awards ceremony, which includes a tour of a Toyota manufacturing plant. The nine 2017 U.S. Winners were chosen by a national panel of nine judges who viewed artwork by 35 U.S. finalists; the latter of which had been selected by nearly 1,000 Toyota team members nationwide from a pool of 90 U.S. semi-finalists. This year’s national judges were:

Cheech Marin, Actor, Comedian, Director, and Art Collector
Karen Ideno, VP of Product and Marketing, Toyota Financial Services
James McKeone and Kyle Hyatt, automotive journalists and co-hosts, CarStories.com podcast for Petersen Automotive Museum
Susan Sanborn, Curator & Director, Toyota USA Automobile Museum
Dave Kunz, Eyewitness News Automotive Specialist, ABC 7
Mark Simmons, Corporate Mgr., Communications, Government Affairs and Community Relations, TFS
Chung Lee, Sr. Lead Designer, Calty Design Research, Inc.
Patti Lou Richardson, Artist and retired school teacher

“As a collector, when I view art, in addition to noticing artistic quality and techniques, I am often drawn to the emotions conveyed by the artist, which stir my own feelings,” said actor and art collector Cheech Marin. “With artwork themes ranging from global warming to world hunger, it’s evident that these kids are keenly aware of what’s happening around them everywhere today.”

“These young people have given me so much hope for the future in our profession,” said automotive designer Chung Lee. “I was not only blown away by the talent and creativity of their artwork, but the awareness of social responsibility in these young kids.”

“After six years of hosting the Toyota Dream Car Art Contest in the United States, I’m still amazed by these kids,” said Mike Groff, President and CEO of Toyota Financial Services. “It’s so inspiring to see children from diverse backgrounds construct such an array of beautiful works of art.  These young artists put an incredible amount of thought, creativity, and talent into their visions of what the car of the future will look like.  They make me optimistic about the future – and how we can change in the world for the better.”

The Toyota Dream Car Art Contest is a worldwide contest presented annually, designed to inspire creativity in youth and imagine the future of mobility. Winners of the Toyota Dream Car Art Contest in participating countries worldwide are chosen from three age categories (under 8 years old; 8-11 years old; and 12-15 years old), with judging based on three criteria: artistry, uniqueness, and execution of concept. The first international contest was held in 2004 by Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan. This is the 6th year of the U.S. contest.

Here are the nine U.S. winners of this year’s national contest:

U.S. WINNERS – CATEGORY 1 (Under 8 Years)
Gold: The Hope Car by Caleb Joshua Kuo, age 7; Montclair, CA
Silver: Our Adventure Car by Leon L. Du, age 7; Holmdel, NJ
Bronze: Toyota: World Food Truck by Grace Sun, age 6; Livingston, NJ

U.S. WINNERS – CATEGORY 2 (8-11 Years)
Gold: Toyota-Stop Global Warming Car by Lynn Sun, age 8; Livingston, NJ
Silver: Gift from Sky by Leah Choi, age 10; Los Angeles, CA
Bronze: Multipurpose Space Car by Xiang Han Rocia Han, age 9; Rowland Heights, CA

U.S. WINNERS – CATEGORY 3 (12-15 Years)
Gold: All-in-One Car by Timothy H. Kim, age 13; Glendale, CA
Silver: Without Music, the World Would be Flat by Christina Marie DeRosa, age 15; Tonawanda, NY
Bronze: Imagination Rabbit Car by Molly Alicia McBride, age 15; Reedsburg, WI


FY17 U.S. Winners (9)
FY17 U.S. Finalists (35)
FY17 U.S. Semi-Finalists (90)

About Toyota: Toyota (NYSE:TM), creator of the Prius and the Mirai fuel cell vehicle, is committed to advancing mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands. Over the past 60 years, we’ve produced more than 30 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 44,000 people (more than 34,000 in the U.S.).  Our 1,800 North American dealerships (nearly 1,500 in the U.S.) sold almost 2.6 million cars and trucks (2.45 million in the U.S.) in 2016 – and about 85 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 15 years are still on the road today. Toyota partners with community, civic, academic, and governmental organizations to address our society’s most pressing mobility challenges. We share company resources and extensive know-how to support nonprofits to help expand their ability to assist more people move more places. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.

Download full press release HERE. For additional information, visit Toyota’s World Contest by clicking HERE.