Pupil wins state Google contest

Windsor Hill Arts Infused Elementary School fourth-grader John Wright with the banner of his Doodle for Google entry.

If 10-year-old John Wright could travel in time, he’d like to see a New Orleans jazz band in the 1970s.

His drawing of how he imagines that scene was recently named South Carolina’s top winner in the annual Doodle 4 Google contest.

The contest is one of several efforts by Google to encourage creativity by asking students to create a Google doodle. This year’s theme is “If I could travel in time, I’d visit ...”

In describing his drawing, John, a quiet fourth-grader at Windsor Hill Arts Infused Elementary School, wrote, “My picture expresses the theme by depicting a scene of a 1970s jazz band. I chose this drawing because I enjoy the styles and sounds of this era. I would love to be able to travel in time to visit a city like New Orleans and watch a jazz band.”

John, who takes private art lessons and plays guitar, entered the contest at the urging of his parents, John and Leonis Wright. It’s the first contest he’s entered, he said.

More than 114,000 entries were received for the contest, according to Google.

They were judged on artistic merit, creativity and theme and a winner was chosen for each state in five age divisions: grades K-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9 and 10-12.

A panel of celebrity judges, including Katy Perry and Jordin Sparks, then named a top winner for each state.

The top 50 entries are on display on the Google website for online voting.

John and the other 49 state-level winners won a trip to New York for the final event May 17. In addition, their artwork will be displayed at the New York Public Library. The top winners in South Carolina will also be on display at the Gibbes Museum of Arts’ Welcome Gallery for the month of July.

The top online vote-getter in each group will be finalists, with a grand-prize winner named at the awards ceremony.

The top prize winner will have his art featured on the Google homepage May 18 and on a limited-edition Crayola 64 crayon box. He or she also will receive a $30,000 college scholarship, a Google Chromebook computer and a Wacom digital design tablet. In addition, the winner’s school gets a $50,000 technology grant.

Reach Brenda Rindge at 937-5713 or www.facebook.com/brindge.