U.S. Winners of Toyota Dream Car Art Contest Announced

U.S. Winners of Toyota Dream Car Art Contest Announced

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Eleven-member Judging Panel includes TFS President & CEO Mark Templin and automotive designer Bryan Benedict of Mattel’s Hot Wheels

PLANO, Texas (March 14, 2019) – The solutions to our world’s current challenges just might reside somewhere in the space where automotive technology and visual art intersect. Nine talented young artists certainly believe so – their visions of cars of the future earned them recognition this week as the U.S. Winners of the annual Toyota Dream Car Art Contest.
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 2019, 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 2019 U.S. Winners were chosen by a national panel of eleven judges who viewed artwork by 31 U.S. finalists; the latter of which had been selected by Toyota team members nationwide from a pool of 100 U.S. semi-finalists. The national judges were:
Mark Templin, President & CEO, Toyota Financial Services
Karen Ideno, Group Vice President – Product, Marketing, Brand and Remarketing
Toyota Financial Services
Pete Carey, Group VP, Service Operations & Toyota Financial Savings Bank, Toyota Financial Services
Elaine Matsuda, Executive Advisor for Service Parts & Accessories Development and Social Innovation, Toyota Motor North America
Bryan Benedict, Design Manager, Hot Wheels Diecast Design, Mattel
Laura Grundler, Visual Art Coordinator, Plano ISD, and Artist & Co-Founder, #K12ArtChat
Matthew Grundler, K-5 Art Teacher, Artist & Co-Founder, #K12ArtChat; and Co-Host, The Creatively Connected Classroom
Bob Merlis, Automotive Journalist; Contributing Writer, Automobile Magazine; and Founder, FeralCars.com
Tony Pan, General Manager, Longo Toyota of Prosper
Robynn Sanders, Award-Winning Art Car Designer & Artist, Maverick Murals
Feró Tobak, Creative Designer, CALTY Design Research, Inc.
“These talented young people will become our future leaders, influencers, and visionaries,” said TFS president & CEO Mark Templin. “By providing them with a platform to express their creativity, ingenuity, and passion for making a difference, we could awaken the spark that inspires the next great idea to make this world a better, safer, happier place for everyone.”
“The thought-provoking concept designs and artistic talent of the girls and boys who advanced as finalists in this year’s contest made our jobs harder as judges to select the winners," said Bryan Benedict, design manager, Hot Wheels Diecast Design, Mattel. "These kids give me such much hope for our future.” 

“I was so impressed with both the skill and thought that went into the entries,” said Bob Merlis, automotive journalist, contributing writer for Automobile Magazine, and founder of FeralCars.com.  “The kids who shared their vision through the contest are a true sign of hope that future generations will do what it takes to ensure sustainability underscored by social responsibility. That’s a dream in which we all can share.”
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 (4-7 years; 8-11 years; and 12-15 years), with judging based on artistry, uniqueness, and execution of concept. The first international contest was held in 2004 by Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan. This is the 8th year of the U.S. contest presented by Toyota Financial Services. Below are the nine U.S. winners of this year’s contest:
U.S. WINNERS – Age Category 1 (4-7 Years)
Gold: Magical Toyota Piggies by Sydney Bella Cui, age 6, Mercer Island, WA
Silver: The Magic Library Car by Grace Sun, age 7, Livingston, NJ
Bronze: The Dragon Learning Car by Yohann Lee, age 7, Studio City, CA
U.S. WINNERS – Age Category 2 (8-11 Years)
Gold: My Dream Deer Car by Lynn Sun, age 10, Livingston, NJ
Silver: Mr. Minigame, The Ocean Helper by Lang Ren, age 9, Ann Arbor, MI
Bronze: Transforming Car by Brian Hoyun Kim, age 11, Sammamish, WA
U.S. WINNERS – Age Category 3 (12-15 Years)
Gold: Tree of Life Car by Jiaying Zhu, age 14, San Diego, CA
Silver: The Self Discovery Car by Audrey Tianyu Zhang, age 15, Levittown, NY
Bronze: The Community Car by Brightan Qi Yang, age 15, Moraga, CA 

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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.

Justin Leach
(469) 486-9065


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Mike Groff displays his selection for the “President’s Choice” award given to his favorite artwork “Race Through Time Car” by Jia Y. Zhu.


Bryan Benedict was among the judges who chose the U.S. Winners of this year’s Toyota Dream Car Art Contest.


National judges after voting for U.S. winners of the 12th Toyota Dream Car Art Contest: (l to r: Laura Grundler, Suzy Jones, Lynette Wallace, Kara Brinley, Karen Ideno, Bryan Benedict, Cheech Marin, Mike Groff, Margie Reese, Benito Huerta, Yeongmin Kong, Pete Carey, Lynn Beckwith).

Toyota Dream Car Art 04

Pete Carey and Mike Groff of Toyota Financial Services inspect artwork with Cheech Marin to select the U.S. Winners of the Toyota Dream Car Art Contest.

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