GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Twenty students have been named as finalists in ArtPrize’s student competition, SmartArt. 

The finalists are all from Grand Rapids Public Schools and their artwork focused around this year’s theme of clean and renewable energy. 

  • "Una Hermosa Bendicion" by Precious Herrera from Southwest Middle High School. (Courtesy Consumers Energy)
  • "Whales" by Clara Kirkbride from CA Frost Environmental Science Academy. (Courtesy Consumers Energy)

They were selected by a panel who had three categories for placement: the artwork, staying on theme and how the first two criteria work together. 

One of the finalists is 15-year-old Imoni Cury. She is a ninth grader at the Grand Rapids University Preparatory Academy. Cury joined the competition because of her art teacher, Miss. Hanley. 

“She was talking to me and said, … ‘You absolutely have to do this competition,'” Cury said. 

She worked hard on her painting, called “Healing,” and took it home during the weekend. 

“I painted and painted and painted for three days. It was honestly a struggle,” Cury said. 

This was her first art competition and the first painting Cury had finished. 

“I’m really excited and thankful to be here and to be in the top 20, because I don’t really do art competitions. I just draw for fun and for me to be in the top 20, my first actual art competition, really means a lot to me,” Cury said. 

The overall winner of the SmartArt competition will win a scholarship from Consumers Energy. The top 10 entries will be shown on a large banner outside of Consumer Energy’s substation downtown. All 20 pieces of art will be displayed during ArtPrize from Sept. 14 to Oct. 1. The winner will be announced on Sept. 17 at Studio Park.