Most kid’s artwork doesn’t make it off the fridge.

Not so for these aspiring young artists, selected as this year’s winners of the Toyota Dream Car USA Art Contest.

Cars that make glaciers, vehicles that disinfect the earth, mobile solutions to cleaner water, and flying contraptions that save the world — they’re among the themes of artworks created by nine young artists.

From the pool of Toyota’s nine US Winners, the Petersen Automotive Museum awarded Jiawei (Jery) Chen, age 14 of Florida, to receive its inaugural Petersen Prestige Award for her “Fly Higher with Toyota” drawing.

“In addition to being a well-executed artwork with a remarkable composition, the museum selected Chen’s design because it aligns with our efforts to celebrate the past, present and future of the automobile.

Her vehicles harken to automobile design of the 1950s, yet she brings them into the future, imagining a world of eco-friendly flying cars,” said Autumn Nyiri, associate curator, Petersen Automotive Museum.

“Creating art makes me happy. It allows me to express my ideas visually and share my happiness with others. I wanted to create a car that was innovative in a healthy environment,” the young artist said.

Now in its 10th year, the Toyota Dream Car USA Art Contest is designed to inspire creativity in youth and imagine the future of mobility.

Toyota held the first worldwide contest in Japan in 2004.

Nearly 90 countries now host their own national contests.

The nine US youth winners and three Honorable Mention Award recipients for this year’s contest are:

US winners aged 4-7 years

Gold Award: “Gadget Toyota Car” by Hahrin Vivian Chiang, age 7, Santa Monica, California
Silver Award: “Disinfection Vehicle” by Xinyu Yi, age 6, Wellesley, Massachusetts
Bronze Award: “Pure Water Vehicle” by Lea Haeun Shin, age 6, Los Angeles, California
Honorable Mention: “Moon Car” by Olivia Yoo, age 7, South Lyon, Michigan

US winners aged 8-11 years

Gold Award: “Ocean Eco Car” by Brendan Park, age 10, Los Angeles, California
Silver Award: “Dream Car That Makes Glaciers” by Junyoung Kim, age 10, Fairfax, Virginia
Bronze Award: “Saver of Earth” by Reena Fu, age 10, Diamond Bar, California
Honorable Mention: “The Nar-Whale Car” by Grace Sun, age 10, Livingston, New Jersey

US winners aged 12-15 years

Gold Award: “Magical Bubble Car” by Chloe Hyoleen Kim, age 14, Issaquah, Washington
Silver Award: “Fly Higher with Toyota” by Jiawei (Jery) Chen, age 14, Montverde, Florida
Bronze Award: “Saving the Future” by Olivia Hur, age 12, La Crescenta, California
Honorable Mention: “Lightbulb Car” by Lynn Sun, age 12, Livingston, New Jersey

CHECKOUT: Artwork not just a fantasy

CHECKOUT: Nicholas wants to be top dog at Toyota

Kids stuff comes off the fridge


Chris Riley has been a journalist for 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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