Three Lynwood High School arts students caught the community’s attention with their inspiring designs and were named contest winners for helping design the city’s new “Welcome to Lynwood” sign.
Sophomores Bryada Overstreet, Beatriz Soto and Stephanie Martinez won for their individual sketches that encompassed the history, atmosphere and values of Lynwood. The students were recognized and received $1,000 scholarships at a City Council meeting.
“I recently moved to Lynwood from Louisiana and I was a bit intimidated at first,” Overstreet said. “For my sketch, I drew two hands shaking because it reminds me of when I first moved here, and how I was grateful to have other students and teachers embrace me with open arms and show me this new place.”
Lynwood Mayor Maria T. Santillan-Beas invited all students from the Lynwood Unified School District to participate in the contest and help create a new design for the city’s welcome sign. The winning pieces will be used as inspiration for the city-hired professional graphic designer.
“We are proud to have our students’ talent recognized on a citywide scale,” Lynwood Unified Superintendent Gudiel R. Crosthwaite said. “As a District, it is important for our students to gain experience in their desired professions while they are in high school and we are excited that our community has given these students this opportunity.”
The competition was judged by Santillan-Beas, city officials, two community members, a local artist, a representative from a Lynwood art gallery and Lynwood High School art teacher Luis Vega.
Overstreet and Soto used pencil, pen and colored pencils to compose their sketches while Martinez used her graphic design experience to submit a computer-generated piece. The students worked on the pieces for a few weeks before submitting on March 27.
“Competitions like this one allow students to apply the skills they learn in class to real-life situations. They play the role of a graphic designer or architect, and they have to read guidelines, research, brainstorm, design and present,” Vega said. “It helps them realize the importance of the art skills they learn, and it builds confidence and motivates them to participate in similar projects.”
Mark Flores, Lynwood’s director of recreation and community services and lead organizer for the contest, said the city received more than 60 entries. Criteria included use of the phrase “Welcome to Lynwood,” images or words that depict the city promoting cultural, economic and educational opportunities and capture general community appeal.
The city is looking for a graphic designer to complete the construction of the design and determining how many signs it will place throughout the city. The new signs should be installed in about four months.
“As a District, we strive to encourage creativity and passion in everything our students do,” Lynwood Unified Board President Alma-Delia Renteria said. “This was the perfect opportunity for the students to give back to the city and to further foster mutual support between Lynwood schools and the surrounding community.”